THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we have Michelle Wie here in the interview area. Many of you will probably remember in 2005 Michelle finished tied third here in her first appearance in the championship and won Smyth Trophy for the leading amateur. Do you have many memories of that occasion?
MICHELLE WIE: I do. I was trying to remember the golf course when I played, and I remember every hole. I think they added a couple of bunkers, but a lot of good memories so it’s nice to be back.
THE MODERATOR: How do you reckon the course is playing differently, a lot different.
MICHELLE WIE: Well, during the practice rounds the weather was a lot different than what it was before. I prepared a lot better this year, brought a lot more warm clothes and brought hand warmers, so I’m excited to play.
THE MODERATOR: How would you assess your form coming into the championship this week.
MICHELLE WIE: I think I was struggling for a little bit, and just trying to get out there, trying to get my confidence back up and trying to move forward and trying to play better.
Q. Is this a course where your length off the tee is going to prove a big advantage?
MICHELLE WIE: I think there are a couple holes where I can take advantage of my driver. I tried to knock out some drives this morning, so hopefully I can use my driver on a couple holes.
Q. You, I think, got an invitation here five years ago to play as an amateur, as a 15 year old. What’s your view that that’s not happened for Alexis Thompson, that she hasn’t been able to play this week despite the form she’s in?
MICHELLE WIE: I think we were in different situations. I think they granted me the exemption because I was an amateur. They didn’t grant me an invitation one year when I was a pro. So I think that she’s a really good player. I think she’s a really fantastic player, and I wish her the best. I think it was the LGU’s decision. I think that she would have definitely played great here, but I think it was maybe just a decision that they made. But I think she’s an awesome golfer.
Q. Just on that point, is there a fear that perhaps she is still too young because it seemed that perhaps that it all happened too soon for you and you had to take a step back?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I think that her and her family and her team are doing things that they think is right. You know, it’s hard to judge in those kind of situations, even in mine, too, because it’s not like they’ve done anything like it before, I’ve never done anything like it before. We just do things, make choices that we feel are right at the time, and you’ve just got to move forward and live with it, whether it’s the right decision or not. You have to believe it’s the right decision and move forward.
You know, I think that it’s one of those things where it just you just do as you feel.
Q. Can you be too young to turn pro?
MICHELLE WIE: It is definitely a hard life out here, I think. One of the best decisions that I’ve ever made was going to Stanford and going to Punahou. I think continuing my education, I think it helped balance my life out a little bit. It is a hard life being a professional, but I think that you just can’t put a standard on those kind of things.
I have no idea what Alexis is, like what she feels and what she wants. Obviously she wanted to turn pro, so she has to do whatever she wants to do, because I definitely did.
Q. How much does the victory of Paula Creamer’s in the U.S. Open inspire you to try to win your first major, someone you played amateur golf against?
MICHELLE WIE: It really does inspire me. She played great at the U.S. Open, and I think it’s great that the Americans are winning the majors again. Hopefully I’ve been practicing really hard. Obviously my short game wasn’t great that week. I’m just trying my best out there and trying to play as well as I can and hopefully do better than what I did last time I was here.
Q. How close do you feel your game is to winning a major?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I think that it’s definitely possible. I just have to go out there and do my thing.
Q. We know about your golf results. How are you doing at Stanford? Do you have two years to go or one year to go?
MICHELLE WIE: Two years to go. I’ll be a senior this year, but I’m going to be a super senior the next, so I have two years to go.
Q. How are the results going? Are you keeping up on both fronts?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, my grades are actually pretty good. I’m surviving. I think it’s a combination of As and Bs, so it’s pretty good.
Q. What was your first impression of links golf at Formby and how has it changed over the years?
MICHELLE WIE: It’s definitely a memory, landing in Liverpool and driving by there. It’s a great memory. I still remember Formby a lot, a lot of that course. But I think the most the thing that I remember the most is using hybrids, chipping with hybrids and not hitting flop shots on every shot. I definitely like to hit the flop shot. So it’s just using your imagination. The numbers mean nothing out here with the wind. Just a lot of good memories.
Q. Last year at Solheim Cup people sort of got to know you outside, got to know you a bit more. How much of a breakthrough was that for you?
MICHELLE WIE: It was a lot of fun. The Solheim Cup was a lot of fun. I got to know a lot of the players a lot better, and they really helped me through it, just the pressure and everything about that just really helped me I don’t know, I guess call it break through, but just really believe in myself and really realise that I can do stuff like that. So it was a great week.
Q. Has that been the biggest influence in your career confidence wise?
MICHELLE WIE: It has to be one of the most important things that’s happened to me. I just remember it being so much fun and just so rewarding the entire week, just having so much emotions into it.
Q. There’s a feeling that perhaps when you turned professional in the game a little later when the Americans weren’t doing so well that you had to be the saviour. With Paula winning, Cristie winning majors, do you feel there’s less pressure and that you can come through in your time?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I think it definitely makes me want to do better, and it motivates me to be one of those names and be one of those American players that pushes through. It definitely motivates me to work harder and play harder and just give it my all and be one of those players.
Q. On Facebook you said that you’d really enjoyed being in Southampton. I just wondered how many people had corrected you.
MICHELLE WIE: A lot of people. (Laughter.) I don’t know, it’s Southport now, right? We’re in England, correct? Yes, okay.
It’s funny how one mistake and everyone can correct you, but at least I know now.
THE MODERATOR: Michelle, thank you very much. Good luck this week.