It’s been a bit of a bizarre year for Michelle Wie—solid on-course results mixed with unexpected off-course incidents—so what happened earlier this week seems entirely apropos. En route to Japan for the LPGA’s Toto Japan Classic, Wie experienced every golfer’s worst travel nightmare.
As you can see from Wie’s message, it appears the folks at Callaway have come to the rescue with replacements. (Conveniently, this week’s LPGA stop is a three-round affair that begins on Friday, so there was more time to get things rebuilt.)
Conspiracy theorists might parse the first sentence of her message and wonder if the use of “bizarre” might be code that Wie feels something nefarious took place with said clubs. Others might say the whole thing is a simple way to get more attention for her primary sponsor (a devilishly genius move by the Stanford grad if indeed this were to be true.)
For the year, Wie has impressively compiled six top-five finishes in 21 LPGA starts and played for the victorious U.S. side at the Solheim Cup. But she has been able to pull out a win, was forced to withdraw in the middle of a U.S. Women’s Open due to injury and had emergency appendix surgery that caused her to miss another major (Evian Championship) while sidelined in late August and early September.
Perhaps even Wie is the actual club culprit (OK, so this is a even more remote theory) considering her recent play. Since returning to action after recovering from the appendectomy, Wie has posted a T-23, T-67 and T-59 in her last three starts in limited-field events in Asia. Wie has broken 70 just once in that time, compared to 24 rounds in her first 58 stroke-play rounds this year.
With just three events remaining in the LPGA season and Wie now No. 21 in the Race to the CME Globe year-long standings, there is one thing Wie is certainly hoping for: that the club shakeup is the jolt she needs rally toward the finish.