Michelle Wie's peers reflect on her life outside the ropes on her 30th birthday

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Michelle Wie's peers reflect on her life outside the ropes on her 30th birthday

LPGA Tour

Michelle Wie's peers reflect on her life outside the ropes on her 30th birthday

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No player in the modern women’s game has grown up in the spotlight quite like Michelle Wie. At age 10 she became the youngest to qualify for a USGA championship. Many of her youngest-to records have since been broken and injuries have dominated her recent storyline. But the newlywed remains one of golf’s most celebrated curiosities.

Today, she turns 30.

Here Wie’s peers reflect on the player they’ve come to know outside the ropes, beyond the five LPGA titles and PGA Tour appearances. They toast the karaoke-loving, adventure-seeking artist who started a food blog, graduated from Stanford and recently started dabbling in TV.

It has never been dull.

ALISON WALSHE

She’s a unique human. A child prodigy in her sport and eyes have been on her since Day 1, so the judgement is always there and when someone happens to mention it to me because I know her, it’s usually always a completely false interpretation…. She is one of the most grounded people I know given her circumstances, and knows what to brush off and just keeps doing her thing her way, and it has proven successful.

JANE PARK

I remember the first time I met her was the U.S. Girls’ Junior, I don’t know where it was. But she had just burst out on the scene. There was a rain delay, and I went to the locker room and she was sitting all by herself  in the back of the locker room. I introduced myself, hey I’m Jane, nice to meet you, and she just lit up. And we sat there, we gathered a few friends and we started playing spoons. I think it was card game. She was just so cute, and I just wanted to be her friend.

BRONTE LAW

I think the fact that for such a big name she is, she’s such a down-to-earth person. I’ve gotten to know her really well. She’s a very caring person and she’s not big-headed at all. …. I think when I first came out here that was the thing that surprised me. How big a name she is – if they know a female golfer, they’ll know Michelle and they might not know much about golf – and she’s very grounded and down to earth. The first time I was in Hawaii playing in my first LPGA event, she obviously has a house out there, and she invited me and Alison (Lee) over. It was so nice. I didn’t know her that well then. Since then we’ve become really good friends, and that was a really nice gesture for her to do that. Her parents cooked Korean BBQ, and that’s definitely something that will stand out for me for the rest of my life.

Golfers Alison Lee (left), Bronte Law (center) and Michelle Wie (right) during The Match: Tiger vs Phil at Shadow Creek Golf Course. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

PAULA CREAMER

One thing I never realized until seeing her drawings is how artistic she really is. I think as an athlete you are an artist in a way out here with your body, but most people are one or the other and she has both. I remember seeing some of her drawings and I was like holy cow. … Her love of music is incredible. She knows every word to every song, any genre you can name.

CHRISTINA KIM

She can probably drink any human on earth under the table. Oh yeh, she can party.

JAYE MARIE GREEN

She holds herself so well. I remember what hit me was I think her and Lexi were playing the final round together at (the 2014) ANA. It was the year Lexi won and Michelle was grinding and as they were walking up (the 18th) she gave her a hug and said “Hey, great going.” That’s just a little bit of who Michelle is. It gives me chills. All the things she’s been through, she never changes. She’s such a solid, nice, good person. To the core. … I honestly thought she was going to be a diva, and the first thing she said to me, I was a rookie, was ‘Hey we’re going to get some dinner, I would love for you to come.’ I was like ‘oh my gosh, Michelle Wie just asked me to dinner.’ I thought that was so cool.

JACQUI CONCOLINO

The first time I played with her was at Manulife my rookie year. It was the first time I had like a crowd watching. But she was so sweet. I was a rookie and she’d been out there for ages, even though we’re the same age. She was super welcoming. We’ve gotten to know each other a little more over the last couple years. Went to the Tiger/Phil match together, which was a blast.

BETH DANIEL

Lots of stories, but playing with Michelle the first time does stand out for me. It was at Kingsmill and she was 15. I knew her but had not been paired in a tournament. She could hit any shot and her game at that early age was so impressive. Walking from eight to nine we started talking about our height. We stood back-to-back to see who was taller. What struck me was how down to earth she was (and is). She certainly was not portrayed that way!

ALISON LEE

I actually met Michelle during my first U.S. Open I believe in 2009. Not sure if she remembers, but I always respected and looked up to her and now we’re great friends. Not only is she a fierce competitor and an icon for women’s golf, but a lot of people don’t get to see how loving and caring of a friend she is. Happy 30th to the old lady.

LYDIA KO

I still remember the first time I played with Michelle at the Australian Open at Royal Canberra. Michelle has always been one my favorite players growing up, and I was so nervous to be playing alongside her and at that time World No. 1 Yani Tseng. Michelle has been a great friend and big sister for me, ever since then! Thank you unni 🙂 Happy birthday!

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