Successful athletes' performances often fly under the radar and suddenly peak on the eve of a championship run. That may well be the case for Michelle Wie, who has seemingly come out of nowhere to find herself in the hunt for her fifth consecutive berth in the Solheim Cup.
The Honolulu native, who became the youngest Monday-qualifier for an LPGA event at age 12, joined the LPGA Tour at age 18 and captured her only major victory at the U.S. Women's Open in 2014. The next two years were a struggle for Wie who managed only one top 10 and suffered through an injury-riddled 2016 season.
2017 saw Wie return to top form with six top-10 finishes in LPGA tournaments, including three top 10s in June. They include a tie with Lexi Thompson for second place at the Meijer LPGA Classic, a tie for third at the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, and a tie for fourth at the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Classic Presented by P&G. She also carded top 10s in three earlier events; the ANA Inspiration, HSBC Women's Championship and the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play Championship -- a good tune-up for the Solheim Cup match play format. After a frustrating 2016, Wie says her recent successes are making golf fun again.
Wie told Golfweek in a June interview: “I definitely play my best golf when I’m having fun out there.”
Those successes vaulted the 27-year-old Wie into seventh place in the 2017 Solheim Cup Team USA points standings, and have propelled her to Number 31 in the Rolex World Rankings. This makes Wie a likely bet to tee off against Europe's top golfers Aug. 18-20 at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club.
As published in SB Nation, Wie said after her performance at the ShopRite LPGA Classic: “I’m stalking the list for sure." She continued, "I’m trying to get as many points as I can and trying to get up there and make the team."
Wie's first experience in a Solheim Cup came in her LPGA rookie season of 2009, when she helped carry Team USA to victory. She also played in Solheim Cup tournaments in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Her combined record includes seven wins, seven losses and one halve in her four Solheim Cup appearances.
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