DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –- Michelle Wie looks like Michelle Wie again. She reeled off four birdies in a row on her incoming nine and shot a 65 on the Champions Course, giving her a share of the second-round lead at the LPGA Qualifying Tournament. The Stanford University freshman still has three rounds to go –- she has to finish in the top-20 on Sunday to secure her tour card for 2009 –- but Wie’s 69-65 start at LPGA International suggests that her two-year-long flirtation with mediocrity is coming to an end.
If Wie’s scores don’t convince you, maybe her playing partners can. Asked what impressed her about Wie’s first two rounds, Alison Walshe said, “Her contact. It’s consistently solid, and she puts herself in position for birdie on almost every hole. She doesn’t make mistakes.”
Thailand’s Nontaya Srisawang put it even more succinctly: “Her ball is like a rocket to the target.”
But in one respect this is not the Michelle Wie of old. She politely declined interviews after her round and will apparently stick to her plan not to giggle and free-associate in front of a microphone until Sunday afternoon.
Which is just fine with this old correspondent. I can use those notebook pages to write a chapter of my next book or a list of tournament sponsors who won’t be around in 2010.
Oh … for the record, Wie’s two-round total of 134 was matched by Japan’s Shiho Oyama.For the latest scores from Q-school, click here.(Photo: David Walberg/SI)