Wie revamps game after worst year of career

Michelle Wie is eager to put the worst year of her golfing
career behind her when she tees off at the Women’s Australian Open,
the season-opening tournament on the LPGA Tour.

Wie, playing for the first time in Australia, said she’s done
her best to revamp her game after missing the cut in 10 of the 23
LPGA tournaments she played last year as her ranking dropped into
the 60s.

”… 2012 was probably the worst year I’ve ever had in my
entire career,” she said. ”It was rough. One thing led to another
and it kind of snowballed.”

Wie, who turned pro shortly before turning 16 and was awarded
exemptions to several PGA events prior to joining the LPGA Tour,
said her poor 2012 made her realize she had to work harder to
become a better player.

”I just really started from scratch,” she said. ”Some
reporter asked me earlier on what I worked on in the off season and
I replied `everything.’ That’s really what I had to work on after
last year.

”I saw (coach) David Leadbetter a lot this off season, a lot
more than I usually did and just really worked on my swing, my
short game, my putting, everything. I wanted my game to be on a
whole other level and hopefully 2013 will be really good.”

At age 13, Wie became the youngest player to make an LPGA cut at
the 2003 Kraft Nabisco Championship, and went on to make the cut at
the U.S. Women’s Open later the same year. In 2004 she became the
fourth, and youngest, female to play a PGA Tour event at the Sony
Open in Hawaii.

Despite winning just two LPGA tournaments since joining the
elite women’s tour fulltime in 2009 – the 2009 Lorena Ochoa
Invitational and the 2010 Canadian Women’s Open – Wie still has the
ambition to one day take on the men again in the U.S. Masters.

”You’ve got to dream high, right? And that’s definitely one of
my dreams, to play in the Masters, but right now I’m just really
focused on this year, this week,” she said. ”You have to set up
really high dreams, dreams that you may or may not achieve in your
lifetime, but to still have them. I’m just really focused on
winning tournaments this year, just being happy and enjoying
golf.”

Wie will take on 11 of the world’s top 30 women in the Women’s
Australian Open at Royal Canberra Golf Club starting Thursday,
including top-ranked Yani Tseng, 2012 LPGA Player of the Year Stacy
Lewis and two-time British Open champion Jiyai Shin.