BETHAN CUTLER: Welcome back to Dubai. You’re back and you’ve had another good year on the LPGA Tour. So how do you hope to finish off the year here in Dubai? MICHELLE WIE: I’m very excited to be here and very excited to play, and hopefully I can do as well or better as last year and I’m just going to go out there and have fun.
BETHAN CUTLER: So what do you like about this golf course? MICHELLE WIE: It’s really got a lot of different kind of holes, a lot of different kind of tee shots that you have to hit. And it’s very pretty with the skyline in the background. It’s very neat.
BETHAN CUTLER: We understood you took some exams yesterday? MICHELLE WIE: I’m taking it right after this. I’m taking a communications class on campaigns in politics and presidential campaigns.
BETHAN CUTLER: And do you have any more after this? MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, a lot!
BETHAN CUTLER: And after that, do you have more or do you MICHELLE WIE: No, I’m going on vacation for me, finals for this quarter.
Q. How is your game at the moment? Are you happy with it? MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I’ve just been rehabbing, recovering, I hit some balls last week. So this week, I’m just going to go out there and try to play pain free.
Q. The course clearly suited you last year, you were so close to winning; what makes it a course that works to your advantage? MICHELLE WIE: It’s a fun course. You know, last year I played really well and hopefully this year I can go out there and do the same for better. Just got to go out there and hit it on the grass and not on the sand and try to get it in the hole.
Q. What is your target heading into a competition like this? You are obviously going into win. Would you like to win this weekend? MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, that would be awesome. Just going to go out there and try my hardest, and that’s all I can do really.
Q. How hard is it to fit in studying around your professional career as a golfer, as well? MICHELLE WIE: It would be nice to just go back and watch TV. But unfortunately I can’t. And it’s only a couple of the weeks of the year where I have to really study a lot but it always clashes around this time of the year. Last year it happened, and at least I don’t have to take an exam at 2:00 A.M. in the morning like I did last year, so it’s okay this year.
Q. You’re competing this week against Lexi, who is following in similar footsteps to the ones you followed. Have you any advice to to an up and coming school girl joining the ladies’ ranks and what would you advise her to do? MICHELLE WIE: Well, it’s a very fun, exciting time for sure. I would say to go out there and have fun, and have fun outside the golf course, hang out with friends and just enjoy your life really. It’s kind of your life, you get to come out here and play golf, it’s just a lot of fun, so enjoy it.
Q. Would you have done anything differently given the second time around? MICHELLE WIE: No, I don’t think so. You know, I’m not saying I made every single right decision coming down here, but I made decisions that I thought were great at the time and sometimes they were and sometimes they weren’t, but I’ve had fun. I wouldn’t change anything. I really had a lot of fun and even though there were some downs, it was a great learning experience so I wouldn’t really change it.
Q. And do you think those downs are now behind you? MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I think, you know, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more downs in my career. But you know, whatever happens, you know, I have to learn from it and move forward and it’s just a great learning experience. Without hardship, I don’t think I would have become who I am right now. It makes me really appreciate the good times. So just really a learning experience, everything is; it still is for me.
Q. How do you view the Money List battle between Lee Anne and Laura at this event? How do you see it panning out over the next four days? MICHELLE WIE: Oh, I don’t really know. I haven’t really followed closely on the Money List I guess. I think everyone out here is very competitive and people are going to try their hardest this week, and everyone is going to try to win. Every week it gets tougher and tougher to win out here. The scores get lower. I think that people are just going to have to go out there and play the golf course and not really think about anyone else.
Q. Is there a reason why you are studying political campaigns? Is politics something that you would like to get into down the line? MICHELLE WIE: No, probably not. But it’s interesting. I’m a communications major, so just something that was in that department and it looked really interesting to take. Professor Iyengar is pretty famous out there so it was really neat to take a class from him but it’s pretty interesting.
Q. How can you use this tournament here then to look forward this next season next year? MICHELLE WIE: Well, you know, it’s really important to finish strong, so I think it would make my vacation a lot more fun if I play really well this week, just go out there and ending with a bang would be great. Just going out there and have fun for the last time and I know what whatever I do this week, whether I play well or whether I play bad, I know I’m going to want to play better next season. So it’s going to be a great motivator in the off season to try to become a greater player next season.
Q. And how do you look back on this season and how do you want to improve on that for next year? MICHELLE WIE: I didn’t play as well as I wanted to in the beginning of the season. I feel that’s always the case for me and hopefully next year I can start off really strong and just be healthy for the whole year: that’s a good goal of mine, and just go out there and do better every week.
Q. Do you have any specific targets? MICHELLE WIE: You know, just the same as every year, winning tournaments and a Major, and really become a better golfer than I was this year and if I achieve that for next year then I think that’s an accomplishment.
Q. And what were the issues this year? MICHELLE WIE: You know, just I think that a couple of times I didn’t score as well as I wanted to and that’s a big thing for me. I probably played a lot better than what I actually scored. But it’s a learning experience. So taking that and I did feel like I improved over the course of the season so that was good. You know, obviously little glitches here and there held me back but hopefully for the next year I’ll be a lot stronger mentally and physically.
Q. And the learning curve? MICHELLE WIE: I think every season is, every season you learn more and more about the game and yourself and how far you can push, how many tournaments you can play in a row. So, it’s been fun.
Q. You’re still a comparatively young woman at the game despite your vast experience in the game already, is it fair to say that you have not reached your peak yet, and if so, how far away do you think you are both in ability and years? MICHELLE WIE: I really hope I haven’t reached my peak yet. I do feel like I have a lot more. But I feel really just go out there and practise in the off season and not get injured and really go out there and try to unleash it. Just go out there and try my hardest is all I can do, and I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself and go out and have fun.
Q. Do you think the world No. 1 status is yours to take one day? MICHELLE WIE: Hopefully. That’s definitely in my goals.
Q. And you talk about this year, your health and I’ve read you’ve had some back issues coming into the tournament. How are you physically feeling? MICHELLE WIE: I’m feeling a lot better. I’ve seen my doctors a lot and getting a lot treatment, and just trying to work out and get it stronger and I’m feeling good. Hopefully it will be good this week and it will behave.
Q. Do you have any concerns coming into the tournament; do you have any concerns that the back could pose problems during this tournament? MICHELLE WIE: I hope not. I’m thinking very optimistically about it. I’ve had a very good recovery period from the last tournament, so hopefully this week it will be good.