By Stephanie Wei
Photo: Wei Under Par
There are great expectations for Team USA at the Solheim Cup this week. And there are even greater ones for Michelle Wie. Once again, she’s in the spotlight. But for the first time, her personality and her game are being showcased positively.
Over the years, it was all about the hype — a girl who had phenomenal golf abilities and wanted to play with the big boys. Then, when she didn’t live up to them, backlash ensued and she was scrutinized for the special treatment she received, the withdrawals and disqualifications, and the behavior of her parents. Unfortunately, much of the criticism was misplaced. After all, she was —and still is — only a kid.
That’s in the past, so let’s keep it there.
Now, she’s earned her way on the Tour and even as a captain’s pick on the Solheim Cup team. Her teammates have had the opportunity to get to know the real Michelle — the one who is funny, talented, sweet and quirky. They’ve been singing her praises.
In yesterday’s press conference Cristie Kerr said:
[Michelle’s] an amazing golfer, but what people don’t realize is she’s still just a teenager, you know, and we’re getting to know her as a person. And you know, what people don’t know about her is that she’s got quite the fashion edge. She makes her own clothing. You know, she designs clothing. She does a lot of interesting things.
It sounds like she’s also embraced the camaraderie that goes along with being a team member. And, she has continually voiced her appreciation to Captain Beth Daniel for choosing her. So you see, Michelle isn’t the “spoiled and ungrateful” individual that many painted her to be. She’s just a normal teenager who happens to be an incredibly talented golfer.
Michelle is in a wonderful position to make her mark. She’s enjoying the experience of being part of a team — something that’s greater than what her career so far has seemingly represented (or how it’s, in my opinion, unfairly been perceived by the public). Could this week be the beginning of her insurgence as the stronghold of the LPGA?
The Solheim Cup couldn’t have come at a better time — the US ladies and Michelle have their chance to play their way to positive headlines. Without a doubt, it would be a huge win for the team and women’s golf. Here’s to new beginnings.
USA, USA, USA!