Michelle Wie dropped an amazing 45 foot put on the final hole Sunday, just enough to beat four others by one stroke and win the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore. Her post-match press conference transcript is below.
CHRISTINA LANCE: Ladies and gentlemen, we are joined up here by the 2018 HSBC Women’s World Championship winner, Michelle Wie. It’s the fifth victory of Michelle’s career and comes, as we all saw, with an amazing 45-foot putt from off the green on 18 to take the victory.
Michelle, as you lined up over that putt on 18, a lot of good advice from Matt Galloway, certainly. What’s going through your mind as you go through that putt knowing there’s a lot on the line with that putt?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I never really ask Matt to help me read my long putts. I called him in, I was like, “Yo, Matt, you’ve got to help me read this putt. We’ve got to make this.”
I think the quote of the year would be — he’ll probably get really mad at me for saying this. But there was a little old hole right in front in line with it, and we’re either going to go above it or below it, and he’s like reading it, and he’s like, “Oh, is it above it or below it? Do you think it’s above?”
And I was like, “It’s above it, Matt. It’s above it.” We’re just like, okay, above it. So I just knew I wasn’t going to hit that short. I think I hit that hole pretty hard. But I think that has to be the best putt of my career so far.
CHRISTINA LANCE: Says a lot. You’ve done a lot in your career. It was an amazing round today, 65 here in Singapore. The numbers were out there all day. Did you know what was going on around you? We had a 62, we had a bunch of 63s. Did you know everyone was going so low and that you had pulled yourself right into contention?
MICHELLE WIE: Yes, I think this golf course, it did open up for birdies on some of the holes.
You know, I just kind of wanted to get revenge after last year a little bit. I kind of came with a slight chip on my shoulder in the morning, and I knew that I had to shoot low to even have a chance, and everyone played great today.
You know, everyone was really clustered up there on the leaderboard. I’m just really proud of myself for making a lot of birdies and keep going, and never really getting out of my head, which I’m really proud of doing today.
But my caddie is a great job of keeping me in the game and keeping me entertained throughout the round. It was a lot of fun today.
Q. Were you keeping an eye on the leaders? They couldn’t get a break, could they, all day. The shots were there for the taking, really. Were you looking at where they were and just thinking, all you needed was an opening?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, yeah, I wasn’t really focusing too much on the leaders. You know, before I came out this morning, I told myself, if I shoot 8-under today, I have a really good chance, and no matter what happens from there, I’m just going to do that. If I don’t win or I shoot in — which I didn’t shoot in, I shot 7-under, if I shot 8-under, would I have won, too.
But I was thinking, if I just posted a certain score, I’d be happy with however I finish, and that last putt, I’ll for sure be replaying that a couple of times.
Q. Can you just talk a bit about, your last win was the U.S. Open four years ago. What has the four years been like grinding away, trying to get back to winning?
MICHELLE WIE: That’s a long time ago. I was on the stage, this feels new, it’s such a long time.
It’s been a tough journey since 2014. I think it’s been kind of well documented. You know, I’ve had some injuries, had a really bad year, just lost a lot of confidence.
But I’m just really proud of myself for pulling myself out of it. I felt like I had a good year last year, a year where I built confidence, and I just want to keep building confidence from there. I just want to keep rising. I just want to keep playing the best I can, trying the hardest I can and trying to become the best player that I can be.
Q. Could you pay tribute to your family, your parents have just been always there for you, haven’t they. They just loved it today, didn’t they.
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I mean, when I made the putt, I could just picture my parents like kind of celebrating. That was the first thought that I had. It’s just so cool that my family gets to experience it with me, and they have always been there for me.
You know, no matter what, my heart times, my good times, they are just always my parents to me. Definitely my team and my family and my friends have pulled me out of the hard times and kept me going. There’s been moments where it was hard. It was hard to keep going and to keep playing. My family believed in me relentlessly, and with that, I started to believe in myself.
Q. Did I think you might have blown it on 16? You had a short birdie putt and you missed it, and were you always going to putt that on 18, as well? You could have chipped but you decided to go for the putt.
MICHELLE WIE: I don’t think I misread the putt on 16. There was a couple of tricky putts out there where we just misread it and I hit it good. I just knew that 17, 18, I just few birdied in, I would have a good chance.
But yeah, it was definitely disappointing for me but it kind of kicked me in the butt to try to play better on 17, 18. I was always planning on putting on that.
Q. Can you talk about the chip on your shoulder about last year and the course, and sometimes you just want to come back and master a course to show it something?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, for sure. Having that lead on the last day and coming up just a little short last year, I came back, having the confidence knowing that I can do it, and I just really wanted to finish the deal. I feel like I’ve been playing this tournament for a long time, and HSBC have been such great supporters of women’s golf, and I just really wanted to win this tournament. But I definitely came determined this year for sure.
Q. Can I just ask very simply: What does winning mean to you? What does it do to you and for you?
MICHELLE WIE: Winning is everything. I mean, there is no better feeling than when you think that sink that winning putt. It’s a high, for sure. You go out there, and it’s this feeling that gets you going. It’s this feeling that makes you practice. It’s that winning putt that makes you practice for hours and hours and hours, and even the hard times, it gets you going back. You know that good feeling is on the other side.
It’s just everything. Winning’s everything.
Q. You’ve always been very at home here, haven’t you. In fact, I remember years ago that you said it reminded you of Hawai’i in many ways. Does that still apply?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, for sure. I love Singapore. Singapore is definitely one of my favorite cities, such really great food, great shopping, and in my book, that’s a pretty great city.
Everyone’s just been so welcoming. I’ve been coming here year after year, and every year, I feel so welcomed here.
Q. Can I just ask, where do you keep all your trophies? Is it with you or is it with your parents?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, it’s with me. It doesn’t leave far from me. It’s definitely in my house.
Q. Do you have like a cabinet or display or do you just put it in like the living room?
MICHELLE WIE: I put it in the living room and they are kind of all over the fireplace. I have a shelf above the fireplace and they are kind of there, below. Some are on a table. I need to build a wall but I haven’t. I’ll find a place for them.
Q. How are you planning to celebrate this evening? Is it going to be a big party?
MICHELLE WIE: I think I’m going to go shopping. We went to Marina bay sands on Monday, and I kind of had a practice round, I’m going to get this if I play well. So I kind of picked a couple stuff out but we’ll see. But I’m going to have some good sushi tonight probably and just have fun. Yeah, I’m not leaving till tomorrow morning.
CHRISTINA LANCE: Can we expect some Instagrams of the stopping spree, perhaps?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, yeah. We’ll see. See what I can do.
Q. There was a bit of heartbreak for Nelly with the putt shifting wildly right. Have you had a chance to see her or talk to her? I know you guys are all friends, and Daniel, as well. Are you all going to sort of go out together and help ease their pain?
MICHELLE WIE: I mean, it’s interesting, right. Some of my best friends are on Tour and you’re competing with them and you want them to do well. I honestly didn’t really see the putt too much. I was on the putting green practicing. But Nelly is a great player. She’s really good, and I think she’s going to play really well, and she has been playing really well.
Danielle and I already made plans to do stuff today. But it’s always fun to see friends play well. I know that they are very happy for me, and when the time comes and when they win, I’m very happy for them. So we have a great relationship.
CHRISTINA LANCE: Now I’ll really close things out. You are the third American to win on Tour this year. First time since 2007 we’ve had three Americans win in the first four events. International Crown year; this will do a great deal for your standing to that. What do you think this has to say about the state of American golf.
MICHELLE WIE: I think we’re definitely on the rise. I think from Solheim play last year, you can definitely see the strength of our American players. You know, Jessica Korda dominating last week, and it’s been great to see. That’s a pretty cool stat and I’m pretty proud to be part of it.
CHRISTINA LANCE: Thank you all very much.