Michelle Wie returned to competition Thursday in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
After she shot a 12-over-par 84, she wondered, through tears, how much time she had left as a pro.
“It’s hard,” Wie said after matching her highest score on the LPGA Tour as a pro. “It’s just one of those situations where I’m not entirely sure how much I have left in me. So even on the bad days, I’m just like trying to take time to enjoy it.”
At this point, her voice was cracking and she began wiping tears from her eyes at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn., where Hannah Green opened with a 68 for a one-shot lead.
“It’s tough,” Wie said.
Wie has lived with fame her entire career, from winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at age 13, competing against the men on the PGA Tour at age 14 and turning pro at age 16, before she went to Stanford.
Wie has five LPGA Tour victories, most notably the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014 and most recently the HSBC Women’s World Championship at the start of the 2018 season.
Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images
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Wie’s most recent injury was to her right hand. She had surgery in October, returned in Thailand in February and had to withdraw from her title defense in Singapore a week later as she still coped with pain.
Wie, who is engaged to Warriors director of basketball operations Johnnie West, sat out a month and returned at the LPGA Tour’s first major and then her hometown event in Hawaii, both times missing the cut. She withdrew from the U.S. Women’s Open three weeks ago, and didn’t start hitting balls again until last week.
“Every bit of my body wants to play and it sucked sitting out of the U.S. Open,” Wie said. “I just didn’t want to do it again and I’m here.”
PGA Tour: Ryan Armour, Bronson Burgoon, Zack Sucher, Kyoung-Hoon Lee, Abraham Ancer and Mackenzie Hughes each carded 6-under 64s to share the first-round lead at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn.
Defending champion Bubba Watson (69), two-time winner Phil Mickelson (67) and 79 others were within five shots going into the second round.
Brooks Koepka, coming off a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, had a 71 and said he was among those fighting exhaustion.
“When you think about all the travel we’ve done and how much last week takes out of you,” he said. “When you are in contention in a major, it’s going to drain you.”
European Tour: Andrea Pavan shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead over Oliver Wilson and Martin Kaymer after the first round of the BMW International Open in Munich.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/An-84-and-tears-for-Michelle-Wie-at-Women-s-PGA-14026878.php.