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Preview interview with Michelle Wie at Royal Birkdale
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COLIN CALLANDER:  Good afternoon again, we have Michelle we, reining Women's U.S. Open Champion with us.

            Thank you for taking the time.  You've obviously had a very busy time since winning the title the last couple weeks.  Are you feeling relaxed coming in here this week.

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I mean, was really excited to be back in Arkansas playing last week.  A little bit disappointed how I finished on Sunday obviously but I felt a little bit tired and took some time off last week and got some good work and good practice in and just was really excited for this week.

            Really excited to be at Birkdale again.  It's my third time here, and I've loved it every single time.  When I played my practise round yesterday, I was like, oh, this is why I love Birkdale.  It's an awesome place.

            COLIN CALLANDER:   This is where you started playing the Ricoh Women's British Open all those years ago.  You must have warm memories.

            MICHELLE WIE:  It's crazy, yeah.  I definitely remember back then, I didn't know what hand warmers were and I didn't know what those like mitts were.  And I remember playing with Catriona and I saw her with the hand warmers and I was like, what is that, that is so genius.  I have never been so cold in my entire life.  That's what I remember from the first Birkdale.

            COLIN CALLANDER:   Was that your first experience of links golf?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, mm‑hmm.

            Q.  Wasn't the Curtis Cup just before it at Formby?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I mean, Formby was awesome, too.  But I think the weather wasn't too bad at the Curtis Cup.  I remember it being like semi‑okay and then I came here to Birkdale and I was like, oh, it was really warm the week before in Evian and I brought all my rain gear and I sent it all back to Hawai'i.

            So I got here with clothes I wore at Evian which were sleeveless and shorts and everything.  I got here and I was like, oh, my God, that was such a mistake.

            Yeah, it was as cold as I've ever been but it was awesome.

 

            Q.  People say when they have won their first major, they sometimes don't realise they have won until a day or two later.  Did you ever have a moment the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, when it finally hit you what you had done?

            MICHELLE WIE:  It's strange.  I think the fact that I kind of did the whole New York thing, I realized that I actually did win it.  There was no going around it.  There was no acting like I didn't.  It was really cool.  I told Beth Ann, I felt like a donut fresh out of the fryer, rolling around in the sugar.

            I let myself really bask in it for a few days and after that, I think that just because I won a major, it doesn't mean that I'm going to play well in the future.  It doesn't guarantee that I'm to win the British or win anything.

            It's just kind of back to working hard and try to play well.  I'm just really proud of myself but I think I've kind of moved past it and trying to think about this week and the upcoming events.

 

            Q.  How does it feel when you hear him introduce you as the raining women's U.S. Women's Open champ?

            MICHELLE WIE:  It's awesome.  It's great.  Like it's never going to get old.  I think it's amazing that it will be there for ever.  My name will be on the Cup.  Once it's engraved it can't really be taken back.  It feels amazing.  I'm extremely proud of myself.

 

            Q.  Saw you hitting a lot of low shots on range today.

            MICHELLE WIE:  Shocker.

 

            Q.  Can you talk about the stinger and how important that's going to be through this week and just kind of your game plan around here?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, the rough is up this week.  The rough is definitely the longest it's ever been the last few times I was here.  I was telling David out on the golf course, there was a lot of lines that I remember just bombing driver down the rough because there wasn't any rough.  And a lot of times, I think this year, you kind of have to play a little bit shorter.

            Birkdale is one of those courses where you have to, it's really demanding off the tee.  I think it's one of the most demanding golf courses off the tee and you have to put it in play, and once you're in play, then I think it gets a little bit easier.  Not that it gets easy; it just gets a little bit easier.

            I definitely think the stinger will help keep it low, keep it on the ground.  It's playing firm, so hopefully it will roll a lot.

 

            Q.  There's an old saying that the first one is the hardest.  Now that you have the first one out of the way, is that an adage you agree with?  Or could you put into your own words what you feel about that?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Like I said before, just because I won one doesn't guarantee the fact that I'm going to win the second one.  I think it's going to be just as hard as the first one.  Hopefully won't take me quite as long.  I'm not going to complain either way.

            It doesn't change my views on anything.  I still am attacking the game the same way I've attacked it before Pinehurst.  I'm not looking at the game any differently.  I'm not looking at myself any differently.  It's not more made me hungrier.  It made me more motivated to go out and play better. 

            I'm definitely enjoying hearing it and stuff.  Hopefully the second win, I don't know when it will come, if it will come.  I'm just not putting any pressure on myself.  I'm just going to keep working at it and be grateful for the one that I have.

 

            Q.  Stacy Lewis was saying earlier that she thought you had been, quote, changed, for the better and much more mature after going to college.  What is your own reflection on how that's transformed you?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I've always felt going to college was an important part of my life.  I've said this over and over again; for me personally, it helped me grow up a lot.  I think that was actually the one beauty of college.  You kind of go there and you don't have your parents telling you what to do.  You don't have anyone telling you that you have to do something.  It's all a choice and you kind of ‑‑ especially how busy I was, I really learned how to manage my time and how to balance my life.

            I definitely had fun but I didn't couldn't have as much fun because I practiced and I went to tournaments and I had to study and everything.  I think I just learned to manage my time a lot better.  It was difficult getting out of college.  The transition period was very tough.  But I think I learned a lot over the past four and a half years I was at college, and it was definitely a lot of fond memories, too.

 

            Q.  If you could be Stacy Lewis for a day, what would you look forward to doing?

            MICHELLE WIE:  If I was Stacy Lewis?  Like for fun or ‑‑ I don't know.  I think we both really like to paddleboard, so we do that a lot.  Yeah, I don't know.  I think she really likes working out.  I think she really likes playing golf and I think she likes to paddleboard.  I don't know, we hung out on July 4 which was a lot of fun.  I've gotten to know her a lot better over the last year or so, living in Jupiter and stuff.

            You know, at first, she doesn't really open up and you kind of don't know how funny she is or how quirky she is and how sarcastic she is sometimes.  The last year, I've really gotten to know her.

            We've played a lot of golf together, and she's awesome.  I mean, I think she doesn't open up or she doesn't ‑‑ a lot of people don't think one way of her or another, I don't know.  I definitely have gotten pretty close to her and she's definitely a lot of fun.

 

            Q.  The idea was for two friends, probably couldn't be any more different.  She described you as artsy and goofy.  What would that make her?

            MICHELLE WIE:  I think she's really motivated.  When I see Stacy, even if she finished fourth or third, she's still really motivated.  She's pissed off that she was fourth place, and I really admire that.  I think that looking at her and kind of seeing her do that, you know, her work ethic is just unbelievable.  It definitely inspires me to work harder every time I see her in the gym, every time I see her on the golf course.

            I think she's really kind, too.  That's one part I think a lot of people don't see is how kind she is.  She took Jane Marie Green (ph) and gave her a three‑hour chipping lesson.  We got her on to the golf course and she was teaching her everything.  She's definitely very kind and motivated.  I would say motivated.

 

            Q.  That stinger 3‑wood is incredibly reliable and your lag putting is a zillion percent better than it was a year ago.  Would you say consistency is the biggest improvement in your game in the last year?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I hope so.  That's definitely my biggest goal; coming into this year, I said this a million times:  I want to be more consistent.   That's my No. 1 goal.  I think so far I'm kind of achieving it.  I just want to get more and more consistent.

            And yeah, I don't know if I'll be hitting a lot of 3‑woods this week.  It will be mostly two hybrids.  But yeah, I think I've just got to keep getting more consistent.  That's what Stacy is, she's consistent.  She's deadly consistent.  Annoyingly consistent (laughing).

 

            Q.  You've been under the spotlight since you were little, but to finally win your first major, what do you think is the reason behind that?

            MICHELLE WIE:  I think it's definitely the people behind me; my coach, my sponsors, my trainer, my parents.  It's hard to do it on your own, especially kind of went through a couple hard times.  If it wasn't for my friends and my family and everyone in my group, it definitely wouldn't have happened.

 

            Q.  You'll be playing with Rikako Morita tomorrow; what do you know about her?

            MICHELLE WIE:  I actually don't know much about her, but I'm really excited to spend Thursday and Friday with her.  We're playing early which will be nice.

 

            Q.  There's been so many Koreans over the last few years, but the last four majors have been won by the Americans and Europeans.  Do you think there's been a sea change?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I think all of the Americans are very motivated.  We kind of got our butt kicked last Solheim and I think after that, I think a lot of us just really looked into ourselves and kind of just re‑evaluated what was happening.  It was a good reality check.

            I think we are definitely motivated.  I think we push each other and I definitely feel a lot more camaraderie out there on Tour with a lot of the Americans, which is exciting when another American plays well.  So it feels great.  I think we are definitely getting our names back up there.

 

            Q.  Curious about the July 4th festivities, what you guys did.

            MICHELLE WIE:  There was no twerking involved.  We just chilled.  I was going to have a little pool party but it rained all day so we just sat down and talked and blew up some fireworks 

 

            Q.  Can you describe how you came up with your putting style and what's good about it?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I definitely struggled with my putting quite a bit two years ago.  During CME, during the round, I tried a couple things and went lower and it felt comfortable, so I just started doing it.  I just feel comfortable.  I feel lower to the ground.  I feel like I can see the line better.  I just always felt like I was a little bit too far away from it.  I'm a little bit too tall I think.

 

            Q.  Did you change your bag at all for this week?

            MICHELLE WIE:  My golf bag?

 

            Q.  The clubs that are in the golf bag?

            MICHELLE WIE:  I'm like, no, I didn't change my golf bag.  No, I didn't.  Not at all (laughing).

 

            Q.  I don't know if it was Stacy, but normally on links golf you're trying to stay away from the bunkers, but here it's bunkers and rough.  How much tighter does that make it off the tee?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I was telling David out there, it's as tough as I've seen Birkdale play, because usually there is no rough.  So you just hit it over the bunkers or you hit it right of the bunkers or left of the bunkers.

            A lot of the holes now, you just have to keep it in the fairway.  And it's playing tough.  It's definitely playing tough.  I feel like I was in every single bunker out there today; so hopefully I won't in the tournament.  Said hi to them all.  The rough was up.  Especially with the rain today, it was playing a lot harder.

 

            Q.  Inaudible.

            MICHELLE WIE:  I'm kind of working on that still but I think I might ‑‑ usually there's no rough, and so you can bounce it off a hill, or even if you go right, you're fine.  But now, it's not even bouncing off the hill because the rough is so thick.  So I may just hit two hybrid, 4‑hybrid in front of the green and chip up.  Haven't quite decided that yet.

 

            Q.  I know you don't get a lot of time when you are off the course, but are you planning on going to Liverpool or anything like that ‑‑

            MICHELLE WIE:  I'm not a roller coaster person at all, but I went to go see Hale lead beater play yesterday in the qualifier.  That looked like a pretty cool golf course.

            But no, I walked around Southport a little bit.  We found some good restaurants.  Just tip call ‑‑ I'm in bed by like eight every day.

 

            Q.  Was it last year that you likened yourself to a flagpole in the wind, bending this way and that, because it was so stormy.

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah.

 

            Q.  It was very windy and you couldn't stand upright.

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I think I'm too tall for the wind.  Just like blow over.  I'm getting a little bit nervous because I feel like the weather is a little too good right now.  But it's not the British Open if you don't have one day where it's completely crazy.  So I'm looking forward to it.

 

            Q.  Your record in the British Open, you've had a third and one Top‑10, something like that.  Do you like links?  Do you think your game is good for links or not?

            MICHELLE WIE:  I like links golf.  I think it's really cool that once a year we get to play a golf course that's completely different than any other golf course that we play.  It's kind of exciting.  It's a shock to the system I think when you first get here because it's completely different.

            But it's cool.  I love all the history that happens at these golf courses.  It makes it interesting.  The pot bunkers are a definite challenge, which you don't really see much on the U.S. golf courses.  But I think it's a very cool experience for all of us at the British Open.  I really enjoy coming here.

 

            Q.  Curious about your thoughts of a Michelle Wie/Stacy Lewis rivalry developing, friendly rivalry?

            MICHELLE WIE:  I feel very honoured that people are putting me up against Stacy; world No. 1 rank in the world, obviously she's a really good player.  So I feel very honoured that people are comparing me to her or putting me against her.

            You know, I don't think you'll find a rivalry where we hate each other or anything.  But I want her to do well.  I think she wants me to do well.  But I think it's fun because we definitely want to beat each other.  I definitely don't want to lose to her but at the same time, I was really happy that she won in Arkansas and I think she was really happy I won at the U.S. Open, so I think it's very cool.

 

            Q.  Are there any similarity, not to the course, but to the turf, from Pinehurst to here?

            MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I was actually looking to see if there was at all similar, but it really isn't.  It's different here.  It surprises me, like every time I come here, how the ball really doesn't spin here.  It just bounds down, even when you chip; into the hills at Pinehurst, it grabbed and just rolled out.

            Here, it's like the grain, basically, the whole golf course is kind of one type of grass, which I think is really cool.  But yeah, it's not really ‑‑ it's not really the same.

 

            Q.  Local press, we thought we saw you strolling down the street; what are your impressions of Southport?

            MICHELLE WIE:  It's great.  My first time here, staying in a great hotel and we had some really good food the last couple of nights.  We're going to look for some good food tonight, as well, too.  It's beautiful.  The weather's been great.  It's really lovely.

 

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