RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Michelle Wie looked as if she might be staggering to another disappointing start Thursday at the ANA Inspiration.
Maybe another short-lived one.
At 5 over through eight holes, she looked as if she were quickly playing herself out of the year’s first major championship, a development sure to ignite new questions over her surgically repaired right hand.
Wie rallied, though.
She got herself back in this championship with a blitz of four consecutive birdies in the middle of the round to shoot 2-over-par 74.
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Afterward, she was as happy about how her hand felt as she was about how her ball striking came around.
“Very happy, considering how badly it went in Singapore, how awful I felt there,” Wie said.
In her last start at the HSBC Women’s World Championship five weeks ago, Wie withdrew in the first round. She was 10 over after 14 holes. She was eager to defend her title there, but she said lingering nerve entrapment issues became too painful to continue. She had season-ending surgery last fall to repair an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and the nerve issues.
Wie didn’t show any signs of discomfort in her hand as she played her way around the Dinah Shore Course Thursday, even in her rough start.
“I’m very, very happy to be feeling the way I am today,” Wie said. “With my game, I can work on that, but feeling the way I did (at Singapore and after), I felt helpless. There was nothing I could do. Just being in bed sucked.
“Today, I feel good, I feel like I can play 18 holes. So, that’s a really big win in my book.”
Thursday’s sluggish start looked to be more about rust than lingering injury.