Wie Looks Healthy for First Time in a While
It’s been a long road for Michelle Wie to get herself ready for international competition again. Or, perhaps, it’s been a series of difficult short roads An injury here, an injury there, and the clock rolls by while she recuperates. Only a few months ago in August, she was forced to take off three to five weeks due to what her doctor called a “stress reaction” in the index finger of the right hand, what he also termed as “acute-chronic.” It was influenced, in large part, by how often and how hard Wie plays, and I doubt that most of us who are weekenders would truly understand what that means.
In a natural process of maturation, Wie has learned much about the art of patience, the fragility of the human body put under constant pressure, and its amazing ability to heal, given half a chance. We are amazing creatures, and in the realm of professional sports and games, we (I should say ‘they’) are like natural-born Ferrraris – high performance, but in need of constant monitoring for adjustments.
Wie broke her wrist several years ago, a horrible thought for anyone who makes a living with her hands. Barely a year ago, she suffered a hip and leg injury, and her golf year threatened to turn into an ongoing thread of withdrawals, such as at the Meijer in Michigan, the Evian, and Kingsmill. Around the middle of July, she set about “overhauling” her swing, something most golfers deal with at some point in their careers. Not only can one little glitch change where the ball goes, but it can change the general state of one’s playing health, exacerbate a preexisting problem, and lay the groundwork for later troubles. When such “overhauls” are announced, regaining simplicity is usually involved.
Of course, Michelle Wie, struggling through this lengthy roller coast ride, remains the favorite target of golf’s “culture of cowards.” In a modern world where I can lambast a neurosurgeon, rocket scientist, or top-tier athlete without giving my name, possessing on iota of knowledge on the subject, or looking them square in the eye when I do it, an injured star is a sitting duck. We’ve turned her brain inside out with grade school psychiatry. We’ve combed through her childhood, her day-to-day habits, her “hypochondria,” her failure to win all the time like we were promised she would, and a million other areas that are none of our business or expertise. We’ve called her every sort of name that comes to us in our chat rants. Perhaps many are so angry that having a whipping girl in the public eye is more necessary for soothing open wounds than for merely appreciating the way she plays golf. This was put in perspective when I actually saw her play, live and up close. I could never hope to hit a ball like that, and all day, I watched a friendly and professional person play and interact in an uplifting way – I was impressed.
So, that having been said, I am pleased to report that the latest news on Michelle Wie is that she is “channeling Jack.” That’s a whole lot more positive than “hip injury,” “WD,” “MC” or “Three to five weeks.” Her last readjustment with the putter was successful, and apparently, it’s getting even better, as she stalks the leaders one stroke back at the ANA Inspiration. She is not a hypochondriac. She is not a wimp. She is not a disappointment. She is an athlete with injuries, and I am thrilled for her sake to see her well, whatever happens on Sunday.If she wins, the cowards will find something wrong with it. If she loses, they’ll have a field day – but who cares, so long as Michelle Wie is well and free to compete.