Michelle Wie … making her third visit to Dubai.
Michelle Wie is hoping the third time will prove the charm when she returns to compete in the forthcoming Omega Dubai Ladies Masters which gets under way at the Emirates Golf Club from December 12 to 17.
The first top-draw to confirm her participation in the season-ending Ladies European Tour event, the 21-year-old Hawaiian native flirted with success on her debut in 2009, finishing a credible runner-up to fellow LPGA star In-Kyung Kim of South Korea, and last year she had to settle for tied fifth despite mounting a serious late charge with a bogey-free 67 in the final round.
Wie, who is 20-under-par for the eight rounds she has played at the Majlis course, sounded confident of going the full distance this time around. “Obviously, my number one goal is to win the tournament, but I can’t really control all of it. What I can do is to have fun out there and just play the best I can,” she said ahead of the euro 500,000 (Dh 2.7 million) tournament, promoted and organised by golf in DUBAi.
There is no change in her mind-set either: it remains simple. “I’m just thinking of hitting fairways and greens, giving myself some birdie opportunities and keeping it in play,” said Wie, who is also a brand ambassador for Omega, the title sponsors of the Dubai Ladies Masters.
“I have a great respect for players on the Ladies European Tour and their competitiveness is second to none. I’ll have to be at the top of my game since the tournament attracts a top-class field every year,” said Wie, who is only in her third year on the LPGA Tour, but has already recorded two victories and numerous top-10 finishes.
“I am really looking forward to getting in Dubai, an extremely hospitable place where the people and the tournament organisers treat the players so well. I can tell from experience, the level of competition is pretty high there, the (Majlis) course is great and the Arabian hospitality is second to none,” said Wie, who has made a solid start to the 2011 season, with four top-10 finishes, including a runner-up finish at the Honda LPGA Thailand Open in her first eight starts.
Commented Mohamed Buamaim, vice-chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAI: “We are really delighted to welcome Michelle back in Dubai. She has done wonders to raise the profile of women’s golf, and there is also no end to energy she is putting off the course as well.
“Besides mixing studies with golf, the communications senior at Stanford has also designed a pink golf bag which will be auctioned to help raise awareness for breast cancer. She is the one people want to see and want her to succeed. And we, at golf in DUBAi, wish her the very best and hope her presence here will motivate young girls to take to golf.”
Named in a Time magazine article as “one of 100 people who shape our world,” Wie has been building an impressive resume in golf since a young age. At 10, she became the youngest player to qualify for the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2000 and qualified for an LPGA event when she was 12.
A year later, she became the youngest to make a cut. She played in the men’s Sony Open when she was 14, demonstrating how exciting and varied a creative life can be. If there’s a philosophy behind Wie’s success, it’s her continual dedication to grow as a good golfer — and a good human being.
‘golf in DUBAi’ is backed by Omega as the title sponsor and Dubal (Dubai Aluminium) as the sponsor. The co-sponsors are: CNN, Emirates NBD, Gulf News, Jumeirah, Mercedes-Benz and wasl while Dubai Duty Free, Carpetland and Motivate are the Patrons in golf in DUBAi’s drive to showcase the emirate’s vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.