Overheard from Michelle Wie's pre-tournament press conference today at Singapore's Tanah Merah Country Club. We bring you the excerpts of her answers to some interesting questions:
Q. You have a strong fan base here in Singapore, we would like to know, you turned pro five years ago, and do you think looking back it was the right decision?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I don't imagine my life any other way. You know, I turned pro young, I do realise that, but I like my life like that. I think I made the right decision. I've enjoyed myself.
Q. What kind of exciting stuff did you buy?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, for someone my age; it's more exciting for a five‑year‑old. I got a pen. It's really exciting actually, and it has like an insect on the top, like a cartoon character, and it had like two little arms and like on the back you press a button and it punches. I think it's really amazing. Like I said, it's great for a four‑ or five‑year‑old and also me. And it also lights up, too. It's kind of amazing.
I got a shower cap. It was cool, though. It had such cute little monkeys on it. Just a lot of weird little things. I got a book strap, a knee on book strap. Strange things.
Q. Tomorrow you’re paired with Catriona Matthew who is quite like you in the fact that she enjoyed her schooling and went to university. Can you tell us what you think of her?
MICHELLE WIE: I think first of all, she's just such a nice person. I admire her game so much, so every time I get to play with her, I try to see how she plays and try to learn as much as I can. I think it's amazing that this year, after having her second child, she went and won the British Open, just a couple weeks afterwards. I have a lot of respect for her and I definitely look up to her. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Hopefully I can learn a lot of things tomorrow.
Q. A successful year, is it based on wins or Top‑10s or the World Rankings?
MICHELLE WIE: I think for me, if I feel happy about it, even after I look back and I'm like, okay, that was good, then I'm happy with it.
Obviously wins and Top 10's and Top 5's have a lot to do with it, but there's a lot of factors. I think a big factor was when I was happy when I played; did I enjoy myself. I think that's another factor, as well, too.
Q. You've obviously heard a lot about this tournament from the other players and heard its reputation, but now you're here and now you've had a look around and you've seen the setup around the course and everything else around the tournament; so what are your thoughts and also your thoughts on being out in Asia?
MICHELLE WIE: It's great. Like I said it's my first trip to Singapore and my first trip to this tournament. It's been nothing less than spectacular. The golf course has been in absolutely spectacular shape. The way this tournament is run, it's just amazing: With the sky boxes on 18, with all of the volunteers and just the branding of HSBC everywhere; it's like they put it on the license plates. I thought that was really neat.
It seems like a major. It seems like an Asia major, and it definitely lives up to the reputation, and more.
Q. If you had a morning when you had absolutely nothing to do, nothing planned, would you have picked up a book from your course at Stanford or a golf club?
MICHELLE WIE: Oohh (giggling) I don't know. Would it be wrong of me to say neither? Because mornings that I have nothing to do is super rare.
But I think I would rather pick a golf club up over a book right now, just because I've been on such an overload from studying that I want a break from it. I have to say that golf is a lot more fun than studying.
Q. Going back two years ago, and today, what would be the biggest difference in how you approach your game?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, two years ago, I wasn't really healthy. So I think it's just changes in the mental attitude in how I approach the game in general, how I approach how I see things.
I feel like I was so stuck in the past and the future, where I was worried about what I did in the past and worried about where I was going to be in the future; that I was so lost. I think now I'm just trying to focus on the present and what I can do right now.
And I think that it changed a lot of how I see the game.
Q. Last week you finished 22nd in Thailand, so tell us about your current form at the moment; are you confident going into the HSBC Women's Champions?
MICHELLE WIE: I guess I felt really rusty last week. But yeah, it's a work‑in‑progress. It's the second tournament of the year and I'm working into it. I'm just definitely trying to experience Singapore and the golf course and the whole experience here. I'm feeling pretty good about it. Hopefully I can do well.
Q. I just wanted to know, how long before you're finished at Stanford, when do you actually graduate?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, cross my fingers, I hope I graduate 2012. Crossing my fingers. I want to be on a five‑year plan. I'm trying not to be there for six years, try not to be that crazy.
Q. The others would be doing the same thing, since you would take four years, you'll have taken one extra year; is that right?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I'm taking one extra year. But the funny thing about Stanford, as well, a lot of the athletes do go on a five‑year plan, just because they are not able to take as many courses. But if I take from now on, if I take 20 units like I am this quarter, I can graduate in two more years.
Q. And are your marks, are they what you want? Are you managing to keep up in everything?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, you know, I'm pretty happy with my grade. Obviously when I was back in high school, if I didn't get an A, I would be really mad at myself. But I've lowered my expectations a little bit once I've gone to college.
But you know, I'm pretty happy with the way I've been scoring. I've been getting A's, and B's. My parents joke when I told them my scores, they are like, obviously you're not practicing enough. But I definitely do work hard. It's not something that I slack off in. I spend a lot of hours studying.
But the good thing about that is that it doesn't take away from my practice. I do what I have to do on the golf course, and obviously the priority is golf and working out and keeping me in really good shape for golf. But aside from that, whenever I have free time, I pretty much study, a lot.
Q. Obviously Asia has a WGC event in Shanghai; do you see a day coming where there is a fully‑fledged major in Asia, and do you think the men or the women will get there first?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, it's an interesting subject. Golf is so popular over here and it's becoming very global and there's a lot of Asian players on the Tour.
It's hard to predict. It definitely is a possibility. I'm just not sure when, and how it will happen. But you know, I wouldn't rule it out.
Q. Is that something you would like to see one day, to come here and play a major out here?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I'm up for anything. As long as it takes me to neat places like Singapore, I'm down.
Q. About Lorena, she's been on top of women's golf for the last four years, what do you think of her impact on women's golf?
MICHELLE WIE: I think Lorena is ‑‑ definitely we all look up to here and we all respect her as the No. 1 player. She's done a lot for the game. When you see her play, you realize, okay, now you know why she's the number one player. She makes a lot of birdies and does really well. Same thing with Catriona Matthew. If I ever get a chance to play with her, I just try to see what she does and try to learn from her.
I think she definitely made a lot of impact. After her, there's been a lot of tournaments in México which I've been grateful for, so I think it's great that she brought the game of golf to México and made it possible. I think it's awesome.