Michelle Wie shot one of her lowest rounds of a woeful season on Friday and credited composure for helping her post a 3-under 68 that put her just two shots off the lead heading into the weekend of the 54-hole LPGA ShopRite Classic.
“The key to this golf course is staying patient…and kind of wait for your opportunities,” Wie said after finding 12 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Resort and GC in Galloway, N.J. “That’s what I did today and that’s what I have to do the next two days, just be patient.”
Wie, coming off two straight missed cuts — two of five MCs in 10 tour starts this year — has not been in the conversation for some time. As GolfChannel.com’s Randall Mell noted recently, however, trying to make her third Solheim Cup team could spur the 23-year-old two-time tour winner to bring her A game.
In addition to excelling in the team competition, Wie has relished the opportunity to play for her country.
“This is the most fun I’ve ever had playing golf. It was just unbelievable, the crowds, the cheers, the pressure, everything about it,” Wie told the Chicago Daily Herald during the 2009 matches at Rich Harvest Farms, where she literally jumped for joy and went undefeated. “It was nothing like I’ve ever experienced.”
Wie’s overall Solheim Cup record is 4-3-1 but she has a long way to go to make this year’s unit. With the top eight in points at the end of the Women’s British Open on August 4 making the team for the mid-August competition at Colorado Golf Club, Wie, in 16th place, is certainly a long shot to earn a spot. U.S. points leader and No. 2 in the world, Stacy Lewis, noted as much.
“She’s kind of far down on the points right now, and she’s got some work to do,” Lewis told Mell. “She works hard. She wants to be on the team. I know she does, but I don’t know.”
One thing Wie does know is that she is not looking beyond her next shot on the Bay Course.
“I didn’t really think about results today coming in,” Wie said during Friday’s post-round interview. “Really I’m overusing this word but I was just being really patient today, just going out there, really just taking one shot at at a time.
“I think a lot of times I think too far ahead or I get too far ahead of myself,” she added, “so really I just tried to bring myself back and really be in the moment.”
Wie, whose best finish this year was a T28 at last month’s LPGA Lotte Championship, will start the weekend a shot back of defending champion Lewis, who trails co-leaders Amanda Blumenherst and Moriya Jutanugarn by one stroke.