Michelle Wie has abandoned her unusual table-top posture on the putting green and adopted the claw putting grip. A notorious tinkerer, Wie was spotted on the practice green in Australia this week standing upright.
“I’m finally back to the regular stance,” she said. “My coach and I have been working on it and just trying to be a little bit more flowing, a little more athletic.”
Wie’s instructor, David Leadbetter, had nothing to do with Wie’s previous hunched-over approach. In fact, when she first came out with it, Leadbetter worried what the stance might do to her lower back.
Wie, currently ranked 182nd in the world, missed the cut at the season-opening event in the Bahamas last month and took 63 putts in the first two rounds.
As for the grip, Wie said she used Google research to test various versions of the claw.
“You should see my research searches,” she said. “I Googled everyone and I liked Phil’s (Mickelson) claw, Sergio’s (Garcia) claw. I tried everything out and it feels good. It kind of is fun to try out different grips. I’s amazing how you can make putts doing pretty much anything, but this feels most comfortable to me and we’ll see.”
Wie’s only other appearance in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open came in 2012 and she missed the cut.
A four-time U.S. Solheim Cup team member, Wie currently ranks 19th in the U.S. team standings. She’ll tee off in the afternoon on Thursday in Australia with long-hitting rookie Angel Yin and Stanford alum Mariah Stackhouse, who is playing on a sponsor exemption.
“I love being out there,” said Wie. “I love the game. I love trying to get better every day, especially having a tough year last year. You’re definitely more motivated to go out there and work harder than anyone else, and it feels good.”