HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sinking his final putt on the green at this past weekend’s Masters, Tiger Woods’ comeback was complete.
Arguably golf’s top attraction, Woods announced his return to form on the sport’s biggest stage with his fifth-career win at Augusta National, captivating diehard golf fans and even the casual ones who tuned in just to see history be made.
One of those diehard golf fans was Michelle Wie who, despite competing in this week’s 2019 LOTTE Championship at Ko Olina, made an assertive effort to wake up early Sunday morning to see her idol pull off the unthinkable.
“I felt so inspired, so motivated,” Wie said on Monday. “Just knowing how much he went through and just going through what I’m going through, it’s very inspiring.”
In some respects, Wie can understand what Woods has had to endure over the past few years.
A five-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Wie’s professional career took off nearly as fast as Woods did. Being the face of women’s golf at such a young age put the Punahou graduate in the national spotlight. But with every injury and setback that came, the critics and doubters became louder and more frequent, leaving doubts in Wie's minds if she would ever reach the heights of her game ever again.
“A lot of times when you are going through injuries, you just don’t know. You don’t know if you’ll ever hit a golf ball again, you don’t know if you’ll ever play without pain again. There’s a lot of doubt sometimes.” Wie said. “But watching (Woods) play, watching him overcome the injuries that just seemed so bad, everything personal, it was so amazing to see. And I felt the emotion.”
Emotion is a good way to describe Wie’s last eight months.
From getting engaged to winning the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, and then seeing her season come to an end due to a wrist injury, Wie has experienced many ups and downs that was highlighted by a setback earlier this year when she had to withdraw from the Kia Classic after reaggravating her wrist injury.
Despite her 2019 season starting off on the wrong foot, Wie wasn’t going to let her injuries derail her return home to Oahu to play in this week’s LOTTE Championship, which she won back in 2014.
“I’m just grateful to be here,” Wie said. “There was definitely a point where I didn’t think I was going to be able to play this week, and this is one tournament that I never want to miss.”
Wie will try to replicate Woods’ recent success this week at Ko Olina Golf Course when she tees off Wednesday afternoon at 1:12 p.m. HT from Tee 1.