Too soon? Michelle Wie playing hurt at KPMG Women's PGA Championship

Carly Grenfell/PGA of America via Getty images

Too soon? Michelle Wie playing hurt at KPMG Women's PGA Championship

LPGA Tour

Too soon? Michelle Wie playing hurt at KPMG Women's PGA Championship

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CHASKA, Minn. – Michelle Wie considered taking a medical exemption for the rest of the year. Talked about it with LPGA officials. But doctors told Wie that her hand injury isn’t going to get any better with time alone. Rehab and finding a swing that takes the pressure off her right hand is the only way forward, she said.

“I talked to the tour about it and contemplated long and hard, but every bit of my body wants to play, and it sucked,” said Wie. “It sucked sitting out of the U.S. Open. I just didn’t want to do it again, and I’m here.”

Many wondered earlier this year if Wie might call it quits soon. She’s engaged and happy in her off-course life. She turns 30 on Oct. 11, and given the never-ending cycle of injury and rehab, it’s natural to wonder how much longer she really wants to play through pain.

The five-time winner on the LPGA addressed the media at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Tuesday, her first start since late April, and said she’s “hopeful.”

“It’s been hard sitting out during the middle of the season,” she said. “There’s nothing worse.”

She credits her time watching members of the Warriors’ team play through injuries in the NBA playoffs as a source of inspiration. Her fiancé, Jonnie West, is a Golden State Warriors executive and the son of NBA legend Jerry West.

“You also notice that being an athlete, you’re not ever going to be 100 percent always … it was just confirmation to me being like it’s OK, it’s OK that you’re hurt,” said Wie. “That’s just part of being an athlete and you just have to go through it and find a way to compete.”

Wie said she had a lot of people in her ear to remind her of what’s happened in the past when she came back too early. The more times you do the same thing, she said, you “have a lot more people telling you not to be stupid.”

Lewis doesn’t know much about the specifics of Wie’s injuries, but count her in the camp that would like to see her take more time off.

“You look over past few years she’s rushed back from a lot of injuries,” said Lewis, “and it’s led to more. And so I would just like to see her being 100 percent so that we can see the true Michelle.”

Wie didn’t start hitting balls until last week. Doctors told her to wait until as long as she possibly could. The LPGA’s schedule isn’t playing in her favor with three majors in the span of seven weeks.

The former child prodigy has been plagued with injuries her entire career. This one in particular stemmed from a car accident two years ago. Her right hand was on the steering wheel when her car got rear-ended. Wie suffered an avulsion fracture in her right hand when a piece of the bone actually chipped off.

When she’s at home practicing off of good lies and tees, it’s not too bad. If the club gets stuck on the downswing, well, that hurts. Sometimes she does everything right and it still randomly hurts.

But it’s not every shot, and for that she’s grateful.

There’s no telling how much longer we’ll see Wie competing on the LPGA. Or even how many rounds this week.

It sure sounds like she’d like to stick around.

“I may be bull-headed and stubborn but it’s just – I’m happy being here,” she said. “I missed my friends out here, I missed playing, I miss competing and I’m very excited to be here.”

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