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Sports :: Outdoor :: The Golf Club :: Michelle Wie - Hawaii's First US Women's Open Champion

Michelle Wie - Hawaii's First US Women's Open Champion

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Michelle Wie Selfie
Michelle Wie – 2014 U.S. Women’s Open Champion – selfie


“Thank you for all of the overwhelming support and well wishes!” Michelle Wie sent her message to her fans via Twitter and Facebook.

I'm thrilled for Michelle Wie. Winning the U.S. Women’s Open is an awesome accomplishment. The consistency she is demonstrating with her game is some of the most powerful golf we have seen in years. The way she has mastered the clubs in her bag, capable of pulling off shots others haven’t imagined, and her mental focus, is wonderful to see.
 

Michelle with her trophy
Michelle Wie with the U.S Women’s Open Trophy.


A wrap up video of the last two minutes of Michelle Wie’s win at Pinehurst No. 2 at the 2014 U.S Women’s Open and her comments on Payne Stewart.
 


There have been many naysayers, detractors, who seemed to revel in her disappointments. She has learned to own her game. It doesn’t matter how many learned voices on television or in print say her putting method won’t work. It works for her.
 

Michelle Wie reaction
Michelle Wie reaction when the putt rolls in the hole.
Getty Images


 “And I think that was one of the best putts I’ve ever hit in my life,” Wie said. “It was really fast. It was a double breaker. It definitely felt like Solheim when I made the putt. That kind of emotion, that kind of pressure. I just, I think, I’ll think of that putt as one of the best putts I’ve ever hit in my entire life.”

Watch Jack Nicklaus putt. He is bent over at the waist. The difference is his back is hunched and not straight like Wie’s. Whatever gets the ball in the hole repeatedly, repetitively, works. No one said a putting stance or stroke has got to be pretty. It’s just got to work. Right now it is working for Wie. Wie has the figure to make just about any stance look pretty.

Here’s another sidebar. In my conversations with casual golf fans, the kind Wie and Tiger Woods draw into the game, I’ve been surprised at how many people don’t know how loved and respected Wie is by her peers on the LPGA Tour. Many in Hawaii only remember hearing reports of LPGA players not happy with Wie getting preferential treatment before becoming a member of the Tour.
 

Hugs for Michelle
Stacy Lewis, warming up for a possible playoff when when Wie got into trouble on #16 during the final round of the U.S Women’s Open at Pinehurst #2, gives Wie a congratulatory hug after her victory.


The reality is Wie is one of the most popular and respected young women on the tour. She is a vital part of the growing of the LPGA Tour. She works tirelessly on the LPGA Player Executive Committee.

There are so many more photos I want to share with you but this one is most important. Always by her side, always telling her how talented and great she is as a player and a person, as Wie said, even when she didn’t believe it herself, her mother and father were always by her side.

This hug tells it all.
 

Michelle with her mother
Michelle Wie and her mother Bo embrace after her 2014 U.S Women’s Open victory.


After her victory at Pinehurst No. 2, Wie spent two days on a non-stop post U.S Women’s Open win media blitz through New York City.

While I’m writing this, Michelle Wie has a two-stroke lead going into the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.
 

Michelle at the Empire State Building
Michelle Wie, winner of the U.S. Women’s Open, poses for a photo on the 103rd floor of the Empire State Building during her media tour Tuesday in New York City.
Getty Images


Her party Sunday night after her U.S. Women’s Open victory included Hawaii’s reggae groups The Green, Iration, and Rebelution. Their tour buses detoured from their touring schedule to be at Pinehurst for Sunday’s final round. They made signs that read #WieBelieve and wore Aloha shirts to show Hawaii support.

When I caught a tweet from @TheGreen drinking a frothy mixture out of the trophy, I had a feeling the party was just getting started. Also sent out from the party was this clip on YouTube that went viral.
 


Hey. Remember. Girls just want to have fun. After dreaming of holding this trophy since she was a pre teen, after 11 trips to the U.S Women’s Open, and working through the ups and downs of golf with a perseverance most of us don’t possess, I say “kickin’ it” was only appropriate!

When Wie was asked about the video on her whirlwind tour of New York City, she explained that twerking is like hugging. Just trying to lighten it up folks.

She’s 24. If you don’t know how your kids are partying, make sure you watch the video.

The media tour of New York City after winning went something like this:

  • Interview on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio by way of phone in limo on the way to Today Show.
  • TMZ followed her down 48th bellowing questions.
  • Next up was the interview on FOX and Friends where they tried table topping in four-inch stilettos. Wie said it’s not easy in those shoes. FOX
  • Business was next where she spent a lot of time talking about the business of women’s golf and growing the LPGA Tour. Host Gerri Willis needed a selfie with Wie.
  • LIVE with Kelli and Michael taping for Friday air was scheduled on Monday for Tuesday
  • Then it was a call in to Dan Patrick Show, a live segment on CNN Newsroom, and into the Omega boutique on 5th and NikeTown for her sponsors…
  • Up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. 
             
Michelle and friends on the deck
From Michelle Wie’s twitter feed, this photo of Wie and friends includes Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols 2nd from right. Nichols filed this:
http://golfweek.com/news/2014/jun/24/michelle-wie-new-york-media-tour-us-womens-open/


On Wednesday, a much later arrival at a tournament than usual, Wie was honoring her commitment. Usually after a professional golfer wins a major event, they don’t play golf the next week.

Her tweet:
“Finally made it to Arkansas!!! Super excited to get back out on the course!”

The Michelle Wie we see in the media center or partying with friends is just part of a very intelligent, mature, insightful young woman’s life. Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols, a frequent guest on my golf radio show, wrote this after a one on one interview with Wie in her home. 
 

Michelle at home
Michelle Wie at home. Photo by Tracy Wilcox.


http://golfweek.com/news/2014/jun/16/us-womens-open-michelle-wie-preview-pinehurst/

If you haven’t gotten enough photos, here is a wonderful blog about her win with more photos for you to enjoy! Michelle is the first US Women’s Open champion from Hawaii.

http://bangkokbobbysports.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/michelle-wie-wins-2014-united-states-womens-open/


WALMART NW ARKANSAS CHAMPIONSHIP
 

Stacy Lewis Selfie
Stacy Lewis, 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G, imitates a selfie. Getty Images, Hunter Martin. 

Post Script:
Sunday morning, Michelle Wie started the final round of the Walmart Arkansas Championship with a two-stroke lead.
 

Michelle Wie leads after two rounds
Michelle Wie leads after two rounds in the 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.


Sunday afternoon, mid round, Wie faltered. She bogeyed three in a row. Angela Stanford, Lydia Ko and Stacy Lewis were charging up the leaderboard.

Lewis pulled off the win by one stroke over Ko. Wie finished T8.

Lewis’ win was perfect. She’s wanted to win for her friends and fans in Arkansas. She’s University of Arkansas alum. The fans were there for Lewis screaming “WooPigSooie” while doing the wave in the grandstand. 


ANNIKA IN HAWAII
 

Listening to Annika
Kids front and center for Family Day at Kapolei Golf Course with Annika Sorenstam.


A clinic with Annika Sorenstam is a special event for parents. The kids are completely engaged. Sorenstam gets the children involved in her clinic by asking them questions until the children are comfortable asking her questions. She wows us with her short game accuracy and ball striking then finishes us off with her driver.

Just as we are feeling completely transfixed by her ability to hit her targets with supreme accuracy, she brings out SNAG golf to get us laughing and relaxed.
 

On the range
On the range, SNAG is set up to make golf much more inviting and less intimidating.


SNAG stands for Starting New at Golf. It’s hard to be intimidated by a large pink hippopotamus! It’s a fun way to get the little kids and big kids hitting balls. There are short clubs for youngsters and long clubs for us taller people just getting started in the game of golf.
   

Danielle and Annika
Annika Sorenstam, Pacific Links International Ambassador with her daughter and Danielle Tucker at Kapolei Golf Course. Hopefully she’ll be back next year and you can come play!


HAWAII STATE JUNIOR GOLF ASSOCIATION

We’re in full Hawaii State Junior Golf Association summer season mode.

Here are your 2014 Dave & Buster’s Junior Classic at Waikele Golf Club winners!
 

Justin Williamson, Shawn Lu, Tyler Munetake
Boys 15-18: Center of the photo is champion Shawn Lu, wearing the lei, who won in a playoff with Tyler Munetake. Both scored +1 145 over two rounds. Justin Williamson took 3rd in playoff with Justin Ngan. They scored +3 147 over 36 holes.


Girls 13-15, Boys 13-15, Girls 15-18
Girls 13-15, Boys 13-15 and Girls 15-18
In the center of the photo, wearing the lei, Evan Kawai shot 72 69 -3 for the win.
Rose Huang, Girls 15-18, scored 73 70 -1 to win by three strokes.
Allysha Mae Mateo 74 75 +5 to win by 7 strokes.


Pictured: Boys 13-14 Evan Kawai and Ai Kioki Teraoka; Girls 13-14 Allysha Mae Mateo and Miki Manta and Girls 15-18 Rose Huang and Allisen Corpuz  and Kaci Masuda and Malia Nam

Congratulations of all of our players!

Two weeks earlier, on June 15th, the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association King Auto Group 12 & Under State Junior Championship was held at the Hawaii Prince Golf Course (B and C Course) on Oahu.

A big “Mahalo!” to sponsors Bridgestone and Titleist.

The Champions!
   

Girls 7-10
Girls 7-10: Champion Minny Byun,– wearing the lei – with Ella Otani and Kyra Tomita.


Boys 7-10
Boys 7-10: Champion Go Nakatsukasa with Joshua Hayashida and Joshua Satonaka.


girls 11-12, boys11-12
Girls 11-12: Champion Jennifer Koga with Milburn Ho and Alison Takamiya.
Boys 11-12: Champion Taylor John McGerity with Kona Kashiwagi and Kolbe Irei.


I want to thank all of the families and friends of the kids who make sure they get to where they need to be to compete and make sure they have everything they need to play competitive golf. It’s a beautiful thing to see!


TIGER WOODS RETURNS

Tiger Woods surprised me by returning to competitive golf in June. Woods said he decided to play in his first tournament since back surgery to support his foundation, which benefits from the Quicken Loans National, and to get competitive “reps” to  prepare for the Open in England at Hoylake. The last time the Open was played at Hoylake, Woods won the Claret Jug playing with his irons and a putter. It was an extraordinary exhibition in ball striking. I believe he used his driver once in the four rounds of golf.

Woods said he'd be "rusty" and it showed in the Quicken Loans National played at Congressional Golf Club June 26-29. He missed the cut. I wasn’t surprised. My gut said he couldn’t come back in tournament form after over three months off recovering from a microdiscectomy. But even knowing the odds, I was still disappointed because I miss watching him play. I think most people who watch tournament golf on television miss seeing Woods perform at his highest level. Last year he wasn't Tiger of 2000 but he won 5 times.


THIS MONTH’S RANDOM THOUGHTS

I wish it weren’t but golf is a rich person’s sport. It’s expensive to buy equipment, pay for tee times, the right clothes, the proper shoes, and the time it takes to play a round.

The golf media, seeming to be so intent on growing the game, reminds us of the unbelievable wealth behind these athletes in golf.

Most of the professionals walking the magnificent golf courses we see on television, grew up in country club’s or had access to them. That’s so normal on tour, we hear very little about the privileged lifestyles of golf’s upper crust.  There are times when the TV announcers get carried away with a “feel good” story and forget most of us watching are working hard just to make a living.

Here are two examples:

Erik Compton. Compton is a very nice, determined young family man. Compton is playing golf at the highest level on his third heart. At 9, the heart he was born began to fail him due to viral cardiomyopathy. Compton’s first transplant was at the age of 12.

He’s had two heart transplant operations. A heart transplant operation costs upwards of $500,000.00. That's a lowball figure and doesn't include post-operative care in including convalescence and physical rehabilitation costs.

Every time Compton is in contention, we hear the TV announcers gushing over his unbelievable recovery, the fabulous performance of this “two-time heart transplant recipient”.

All I can think of is how incredibly lucky Compton is to come from a family with the resources to afford such good medical care. I know my insurance wouldn't cover it. If it did, imagine the co-pay!

Lucy Li. She's 11. She's precocious. And she's played amazing golf in the 2014 US Women’s Open. She broke 80 twice on a very difficult golf course. Great job, Ms. Li.

And I'm happy her parents could afford to send Lucy to for special golf training since the child was 7.  It’s nice to be able to afford to send your child to Florida for months to study with Jim McLean. Most parents can’t afford a three-day “summer camp” with McLean.

The child's wardrobe cost what a parent would spend for a semester at a private school in Hawaii. 

If only 15% of the golfing population is women, maybe that’s about the only number of women that can afford to play; maybe hubby is using up the disposable income to take his clubs out on the course.

If we truly want to grow the game of golf, making it more affordable is the key.


“THE GOLF CLUB” RADIO SHOW and PODCAST – MY GOLF SHOW!

We’re continuing the great Bridgestone Golf Ball giveaway this month. The 9th caller wins when I give you the number and ask you to call!

“The Golf Club” is on the radio on Oahu on 99.5 FM Saturday morning from 7am until 8:30am. The show is re-aired at 4 pm Saturday afternoon.

On Maui, you can listen on 104.7 FM, on Kauai 99.9 FM and in Hilo, on KPUA AM 670.

Prefer a podcast? Pick us up at iTunes or through our RSS feed at http://www.radiogolfclub.com. Or get the Stitcher app for your smart phone. It’ll stream the show through your phone without taking up any memory.

Thank you for your Mana and may you hit the sweet spot every time.

Aloha,

Danielle


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Regarding the Kilauea volcano lava flow.




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