If the whole LPGA golf thing doesn’t work out for Michelle Wie, the former teen prodigy may have a career as a sports commentator in her future.
Wie, who qualified for this week’s season-ending Titleholders event with an eighth-place finish at the LPGA Safeway Classic in August, turned the tables on fellow competitor Suzann Pettersen on Wednesday, when she channeled her inner reporter following her own, more traditional, press conference.
And they weren’t just softballs the two-time tour winner lobbed at this year’s LPGA Taiwan and LPGA Hanabank champ (the what-color-is-your-driver query notwithstanding). When Wie wondered about the putting surfaces on the Eagle Course in Naples, Fla. -- “With these different shaped greens, you have a windshield wiper green and you have a square green, do you approach them any differently than you would a round one?” -- Pettersen complimented her on her question.
Not missing a beat, the recent Stanford grad shot back, “Communication major.”
Wie pressed Pettersen about her recent practice session with coach David Leadbetter.
“Something must have worked right for you in the last week, last two times you won in Korea and Taiwan,” Wie said. “What are some of the things that you worked on?”
Pettersen wondered if she were “going to tell you these secrets,” to which Wie replied, summoning her best golf-scribe patter (which, after some 13 years on the national stage, the 23-year-old Hawaii native knows a thing or two about), “Um-hmm, yeah.”
Wie asked about the shoulder problem that forced Pettersen to withdraw from her spot on the LPGA team in the recent Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge (spoiler alert: the PGA Tour won).
“But the doctor gave you a green light, as I saw on Twitter,” Wie observed. “How's it feeling right now?”
There was no evidence of a tear and “feels pretty good,” Pettersen replied, adding that the pain was so bad she almost pulled out of last week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
“I saw the doctor on Monday; I just want to make sure [if I] keep playing that I wouldn't hurt it anymore,” said Pettersen. “It was just some inflammation. So I like drugs, I'm on the drugs.”
MICHELLE WIE: You have a new Nike driver in your bag this week.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: What color is it?
MICHELLE WIE: Might be like red, I think.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, it's actually going to be in my bag. Is it going to be in your bag?
MICHELLE WIE: I'm still working on getting the right fit.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: See, I'm easy to fit.
MICHELLE WIE: Do you like it? Do you have more yardage off of it?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I think I feel like I have more speed. It's new technology, it's hard for me to outdrive you, but it's a great feel, it's a great look. I went with a small face.
MICHELLE WIE: I'm up for a rematch again if you want.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Now I have a smaller face with less spin, I might actually run it past you.
Normally about now, we’d suggest that Wie not give up her day job. After her virtuoso performance on the other side of the mic, however, the kid could be her generation’s answer to former LPGA star and outgoing NBC analyst, Dottie Pepper.