My Shot: Michelle Wie
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IT'S MY FIRST Kraft Nabisco. I'm 13, playing with Natalie Gulbis. On the fifth hole, I put a new ball into play. On the sixth fairway, I told Natalie I'd changed balls. She stops and gives me a look of shock. "You can't do that out here," she says. "That's a two-stroke penalty. You need to go back to the tee." I was speechless, on the verge of tears. Just as I turned to start walking back to the tee, Natalie said, "Just kidding."
NATALIE HAS THE BODY on the LPGA Tour we'd all like to have. Best hair is a tie between Gerina Piller and Kathleen Ekey. Best butt: Vicky Hurst. Funniest: Christina Kim.
BY THE TIME that Kraft Nabisco came along, I'd stopped growing. I was 6 feet tall. I wore a size 9½ shoe, same size I wear today. I was the longest baby in the hospital, the tallest kid in kindergarten and the tallest girl in middle school. Just when I was wondering if I might grow to be 7 feet tall, it stopped.
I'M ALLERGIC to everything. Gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts. Weird things like pineapple and cherries. I have more allergies than anyone I know. But I can't get on board with the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. I cook and eat anything I can that tastes good and won't make me sick. Pork ribs, live squid—everything is in play. One of my friends came up with a great name for my diet: "selectetarian." When I go to a restaurant, the first thing I say to the server is, "I'm sorry, but when I order I'm going to be 'that person.' " They always appreciate the warning. A nice tip helps, too.
WHEN I FELL and broke my wrist in three places in 2007, it was more serious than diagnosed. I tried to come back too early. It was a rough year. The thing with injuries is, it isn't just the injury, it's the things associated with it. I took a ton of ibuprofen to deal with the pain. That ate up my stomach lining and I got "leaky gut." Then I developed an allergy to the ibuprofen, which, combined with pain and stress, made me feel terrible all over. I have a lot of empathy for people who hurt. They hurt in ways you can't see.
TO FIX SLOW PLAY, faster players must find the courage to tell the slower players to speed up. You know who doesn't think twice about suggesting you get going? Angela Stanford. I'm not a slow player per se, but there was a tournament where the pace of play was awful, and I'd slowed down to fit into the rhythm. I was playing with Angela, and she sidled over to me while we were waiting on one of the tees. "You sure were slow on that hole where I struggled." She said it in a such a matter-of-fact way, I didn't argue, I just started playing faster.
I LOOK AT LYDIA KO and Charley Hull, who are 16 and 17 and just turning pro, and see them as so young and innocent. That's surprising coming from me, because I'm only 24. But I'm clearly older than they are and have been around. I began having pro-like experiences long before I was even their age. If I were to offer Lydia and Charley one piece of wisdom, it's that they find a way to be happy even during the down times. We all have ups and downs, and it's important to realize that our downs are better than the average person's ups. There are so many people who don't have homes or struggle to put food on the table.
I ATTENDED the same prep school in Hawaii as President Obama: Punahou School in Honolulu. By the time I got there, he was a U.S. senator and definitely a legend. A lot of Obama's teachers had left, but one of his school counselors was still there, and the boys' basketball coach. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the Obama lore, but I recall people saying, one, he was a darn good basketball player. Two, he was very smart. And three, he had an enormous Afro hairstyle.
I FINISHED my freshman year at Stanford with a 3.4 GPA, majoring in communications. Not bad, but compare that to my roommate, who had a 4.3 GPA, majoring in biomechanical engineering. One day she said, "Take this nanotechnology class with me. It's really easy. We'll have fun." I signed up, and it turned out to be the hardest class I've ever taken in my life. I barely survived it. One thing about Stanford: You're never the smartest person in the room.
ON TWITTER, I get to control the message. I get to choose which parts of my life I want to share, and my words are unfiltered, straight from me. Some athletes and celebrities have struggled on Twitter. Here's my secret on that: I don't read @TheMichelleWie "mentions" about me, because that's where the haters are.
PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET have become so negative, but what if people went out of their way to be positive? I think the power of random positive comments can really change someone's day. When was the last time you said something nice to someone, just because? The Internet has become so nasty, and my heart breaks for kids in school who endure cyberbullying. I was bullied during middle school, and it felt horrible. I can't fathom how much worse it has gotten via social media.
HOLES-IN-ONE on par-3 courses are legitimate. They count, and here's why. After I lost my first-round match at the Sybase Match Play, I played in a pro-am the next day. Hamilton Farm has probably the best par-3 course in the world, 18 great holes. Two of my partners were brothers, one 18 years old, the other about 10. Early in the round I made a hole-in-one. The youngest brother had never seen an ace before, and he went nuts. On the 14th hole I made another hole-in-one, one of those shots you just know is going in. I'll never forget the look on the 10-year-old's face. He looked at me like I was a superhero. Thinking about it now, I hope he makes a hole-in-one someday. Because the next one he sees might be a little anticlimactic.