Fresh Off Win, Michelle Wie Heads to Bay Area for Swinging Skirts
April 22, 2014
Before any shots were even struck, this week’s Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club got an extra jolt on the anticipation meter thanks to Michelle Wie’s comeback win at the LPGA LOTTE Championship in Hawaii.
For the now 24-year-old Wie, who leapt onto the LPGA Tour stage at age 12 and has since had her share of ups and downs, the win was her first since capturing the CN Canadian Women’s Open in 2010.
“I’m just having fun out there,” said Wie, who grew up in Honolulu and performed the hula following her victory.”I was out there and nervous. Every time I felt nervous out there, I was looking around, I felt there was no place I’d rather be.”
Along with picking up her third LPGA title, the victory propelled Wie to the top of the LPGA money list at $616, 555.
Now, one of the main attractions in women’s golf heads to the Bay Area for the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.
“From 16, I’ve been through a lot of things,” Wie told the press following her win on the islands. “After so many experiences, I’ more grateful for good play when I do play well. I’m having a lot of fun. … I’m definitely happy because I’m playing well. I’m enjoying being out there. I’m treating it more like a game when I’m out there. ‘Let’s see if I can hit this shot or make this putt.’ It’s not life or death out there.”
The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic marks the LPGA Tour’s first event in the Bay Area since the 2010 CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge at Blackhawk Country Club in Danville.
Along with Wie, other players teeing it up in the tournament include Northern California natives Paula Creamer, Mina Harigae, Christina Kim and Natalie Gulbis.
The event will have a robust $1.8 million purse, with $270,000 going to the winner. As a bonus, the Classic will also be part of a season-long points race with a $1 million payout.
Among those jazzed for the LPGA’s return to the Bay Area is Los Gatos native Kay Cockerill. A former LPGA member, Cockerill will be The Golf Channel’s main analyst during the event.
“I’m really proud to have the LPGA in the San Francisco Bay Area proper. It’s been a huge hole,” Cockerill said. “It’s step one, and it’s on a course that’s really one of the top courses in the region. Lake Merced could host a major.”
Tickets for the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic are available on the tournament website.