Wie returns to action after US Women’s Open win
ROGERS, Arkansas (AP) — Michelle Wie has enjoyed a week full of celebration and national attention since finally winning her first major championship in the U.S. Women’s Open.
The most recognizable name in women’s golf danced with her trophy and appeared on the American morning television circuit, taking in the rewards after beating top-ranked Stacy Lewis by a stroke at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina on Sunday.
“It feels great, but I don’t know how people in showbiz do it,” Wie said about the attention.
Wie received congratulatory messages from Arnold Palmer and Condoleezza Rice, among others, as well as flowers from Adam Sandler.
“I feel like that’s the biggest prize in golf, getting flowers from Happy Gilmore,” Wie joked.
Celebration aside, Wie will return to play Friday in the NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club.
She and Lewis will once again headline the event, and not only because of their back-to-back tee times.
While Wie’s popularity follows her wherever she goes on the U.S. LPGA Tour, Lewis’ star never shines more brightly than this week each year. She’s a two-time winner and four-time runner-up in the tournament.
Pinnacle Country Club is approximately 20 minutes north of Fayetteville, where Lewis was a star at the University of Arkansas. The Texan embraces her college roots and party-like atmosphere at the event each year, handing out Arkansas memorabilia.
“I don’t think there’s any other place on tour that supports someone individually like this tournament supports me,” Lewis said.
Lewis earned a rain-shortened unofficial win at the NW Arkansas Championship as an amateur in 2007. She was in contention last year before settling for third place behind winner Inbee Park.
“I joke with Stacy that it’s the one tournament I don’t want to play with you,” said Wie, also the winner this year in her home state of Hawaii. “Because it just gets so crazy.”
Nine out of the top 10 players in the world are entered in the tournament, with Wie’s Friday afternoon group with So Yeon Ryu and Paula Creamer following Lewis’ threesome with Lydia Ko and Jessica Korda.