When people talk about Michelle Wie, almost without fail, the first thing that gets brought up is her foray into the men’s game. Forget that it was seven years ago, when she was just 17 years old. Critics are fast to remind you just how badly that went, and that, for the most part, she’s failed to live up to the hype of being the ladies’ game’s version of Tiger Woods.
Certainly, many of those criticisms have merit. When you’re as hyped as Wie was to start her career, things are going to happen. It’s been a bumpy road for Wie on the LPGA Tour, but after missing 17 cuts in the last two years, it seems like things are finally falling into place, as Wie took down the LPGA Lotte Championship.
It was her first win since 2010, and the fact that it came in her home state of Hawaii had to help. Although she started the final round four strokes behind leader Angela Stanford, she shot a five-under-par round of 67 for the second time this week to complete the turnaround.
It was her fourth top-ten finish of the 2014 season, and came just two weeks after her second-place finish at the first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Wie has earned her way up to second in the Race for the CME Globe, and is 23rd in the Rolex Ranking. She also leads the LPGA in both greens in regulation and scoring average.
Although the win is the obvious breakthrough in Wie’s season, it just goes to show the development she’s made as a professional. For the first time in several years, she’s playing a truly complete golf game. Perhaps it took a few years of harsh reality to allow her to live up to the potential we’ve all known she had.