A tearful Michelle Wie pulled out at the 15th hole in her first round of the HSBC Women’s World Championship following problems with the right hand which is in recovery from an October operation. After 14 holes, this great player was as many as ten over par and at the bottom of the leaderboard.
At first sight, yesterday, it had look as if all was well with the defending champion, with nothing about her person to suggest than anything was wrong beyond a plaster on her right ankle. However, her tee-shots were telling a very different story. Her hand came off the club at the 14th, and the same happened again with a relatively short pitch at the 15th. Though there was a nice enough clip of ball on club, the hand opted out of the shot straight afterwards.
It transpired that Wie had physiotherapy as she came off the tenth green, and more of the same as she started down the eleventh fairway.
For the record, the wrist injury had its origins in a car accident two years ago which prompted an avulsion fracture. “So they went in there and cleaned up a bit of scar tissue and the surgery went well,” she explained at her pre-tournament press conference. “It was a pretty easy, normal procedure and, yeah, its taken quite a bit of time to recover but I think I’m back on track.”
Along with David Leadbetter, her coach, she had made her swing shallower to accommodate the problem, but it would seem as if there’s more work to be done with muscle build-up, etc.
Sad to say that was only a matter of days before the off that the player had delivered the following encouraging message on Twitter, “OK, deep breaths. 2019 season here we come. Feel blessed and grateful.”
Wie was not alone in having to pull out. Sei-Young Kim had to abandon ship with a back injury at the 13th, while Amy Yang, who won last week in Thailand, lasted but three holes after taking to the course in the knowledge that she was in the throes of a dose of flu.
Of the fit and well, Celine Boutier arrived back at base at four under to take the lead, while Emma Talley was on the same four-under mark after 12.