A year after breakthrough major, Wie struggling with injuries

By Doug Ferguson


Michelle Wie has quite the entourage these days.

The doctor at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio who has worked on her hip. The doctor in Los Angeles who has been there for her ankle injuries. She also has a doctor in Florida where she lives. The way her season has gone, Wie can’t live without them.

It’s been one ailment after another since she won the U.S. Women’s Open last year. A finger injury. A respiratory infection. She had bursitis in her left hip and withdrew from the Kingsmill Championship in May. And after finishing 11th at the U.S. Women’s Open _ that matched her best result of the year _ she developed a bone spur in her left foot that she attributed to the hilly terrain of Lancaster Country Club.

She walked into the press centre at Turnberry on Tuesday wearing a protective boot.

“It’s a new fashion,” she joked. “Yeah, it’s just doctor’s orders. He wants me to be in the boot when I’m not playing just so I can rest it and make sure I’m ready for the next day. So it’s more of a preventive thing.”

Wie didn’t hit balls from the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open on July 12 until she arrived Sunday for the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry. She said she was feeling better and was hopeful of no more setbacks this week. The goal is to bring down the inflammation in her foot, though that’s not the only issue.

“The bursitis is still there,” she said. “It was actually feeling really good coming into the (U.S. Women’s) Open. I think the golf course really pushed me back. But I got a cortisone shot in the hip joint. … I just let everything settle back in. The hip is feeling a lot better. It’s just something that I wish it was the off-season and I had more time.

“I never wanted to miss this tournament, so I’m here and I’m excited to play,” she said. “We’ll see once I get done with this week what the future plans are, but I’m just going to take it day by day. My doctor said that I might feel better all of a sudden one day, waking up one morning, so I’m really hoping for that.”

The LPGA Tour still has one more major in September at the Evian Championship in France, followed by the Solheim Cup.

Wie is at No. 3 in the Solheim Cup standings.

“Solheim, I don’t ever see myself not playing, so I’ll be there,” she said.


NO RENO: Tiger Woods last played a PGA Tour event in Nevada in 1996 when he was defending his title in the Las Vegas Invitational and tied for 36th.

He won’t be in Nevada next week, either.

Woods started the year at No. 32 in the world and figured he could count on the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone, a tournament he has won eight times and has been eligible to play ever since his rookie season. But his only way back is to win the Quicken Loans National this week.

That led to questions whether he would consider playing the Barracuda Championship in Reno, which uses the modified Stableford scoring system. And it led to a short answer.

“No, I won’t,” Woods said Tuesday. “I’ll just go home and get ready for the PGA.”

Woods is at No. 197 in the FedEx Cup standings, and only the top 125 qualify for the playoffs. He currently is 315 points from No. 125. To put that in perspective, third place is worth 190 points this week, and Woods hasn’t finished higher than a tie for 17th this year.

After the PGA Championship is the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina, an event he has never played.


SURGERY FOR STALLINGS: Scott Stallings is serving a three-month suspension for violating the PGA Tour’s anti-doping policy. He turned himself in when he realized an over-the-counter supplement his doctor prescribed for chronic fatigue was on the list of banned substances.

The good news? Stallings told the Knoxville News-Sentinel that he found the cause of his fatigue.

Stallings, who conducted a clinic Monday for juniors in the Under Armour-Scott Stallings Championship in Tennessee, said he would have surgery to correct a deviated septum and have his tonsils removed.

“Right now, my health is my No. 1 priority,” he said. “I should be down for about a week (after surgery), but I’ll be ready to go in October. I just want to get healthy.”


FAMILY TIME: Bubba Watson nearly had the perfect week at the Canadian Open. The grandmother of his Canadian-born wife flew down from Newfoundland and spent time with Caleb, whom the Watsons adopted right after he won his first Masters. And he provided an unusual father-daughter outing.

Watson said he bought a spot in the pro-am for wife Angie and her father, who lives outside Toronto.

“I bought a pro-am spot for them so my father-in-law could think he was king of the world playing in the pro-am,” Watson said. “And he gets to play with Retief Goosen.”

What kept it from being an ideal week was the finish. Watson finished one shot behind Jason Day.

That was a familiar spot for Watson’s caddie, Ted Scott, who was on the bag for Grant Waite at Glen Abbey in the 2000 Canadian Open. Waite finished one shot behind that year to Tiger Woods, who hit a 6-iron out of a bunker, over the water and onto the back fringe of the green for a birdie.


DIVOTS: Tiger Woods attracted a strong field when his tournament began at Congressional in 2007. K.J. Choi won and received 62 world ranking points. The strength of field has been on the decline since then and reached a low this year, in part because of the date, which is right before the doubleheader of a World Golf Championship and the final major. The winner this year is expected to receive 34 points. Only the John Deere Classic has had a weaker field among stand-alone PGA Tour events this year. … Three players from the top 20 in the FedEx Cup have yet to win on the PGA Tour this year _ Kevin Kisner (13), Hideki Matsuyama (16) and Paul Casey (20). … The PGA Tour has added the Lecom Health Challenge to its Tour schedule next year under a four-year agreement. It will be played July 7-10 at Peek’n Peak Resort in western New York.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Vijay Singh is the only player at the Quicken Loans National who played in all four Presidents Cups at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.


FINAL WORD: “That big rock thingy out there?” _ Michelle Wie at Turnberry, asked if she had seen the Ailsa Craig.

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