Palm Desert:Michelle Wie is playing her final US LPGA Tour event of the year but she wishes it was her first.
After a disastrous season filled with wrist injuries, a feud with Annika Sorenstam and only one round under par, Wie said on Tuesday her biggest mistake was not taking the year off to get healthy.
"The only thing that I would do differently (is) I wouldn't have played this year. It's as simple as that," she said at the Samsung World Championship. "The only thing that I did wrong this year is that I did not take my injuries as seriously as I should have."
One thing she is taking seriously is her role as a student, though not necessarily by choice. Wie started her freshman year at Stanford University last month, taking courses such as humanities, Japanese and calculus.
"The lectures ... are amazing," she said. "I write pages and pages of notes. I never really experienced that before. It's a lot of fun. When you're in high school, you are usually the outstanding student. But when you go into Stanford, you're like, 'Am I the mistake exception?' Everyone is so smart. Everyone is so outstanding in whatever they do."
She has access to Stanford's golf course, although she can't practice or play with the team as a professional. But she said she has learned to balance the books with practice, and she said this is the best her wrists have felt all year.
Wie received a sponsor's exemption in March to play the Samsung World Championship, a 20-player field that carries a mixed bag of memories for Wie, who turns 18 on Thursday.
It was at Bighorn Golf Club where she made her professional debut in 2005. Wie played well enough to finish fourth until she was disqualified for what was deemed an improper drop in the third round, an infraction that a magazine writer did not bring up until the next day.
A year ago, Wie hit the ball all over the desert, and played one shot off the cement cart path on her way to a quadruple-bogey 8 on the shortest hole at Bighorn. That knocked her off the leaderboard, and she hasn't been back since.
Wie showed up at the Sony Open on the US men's tour in January with a tender wrist, which was attributed to that shot off the cart path. She broke the other wrist a few weeks later when she fell while jogging in a park.
And that was the start of her free fall. Wie has played seven times on the US women's tour, completing only two tournaments. She made the cut on the number at the US LPGA Championship and made the cut at the Evian Masters. Both tournaments, she failed to break 80 in the third round.
But the scores were only part of the problem. She returned at the Ginn Tribute, hosted by Sorenstam, and was 14 over par through 16 holes when she suddenly withdrew.
Two bogeys would have disqualified her from the American tour for a year, and some thought she was evading the tour's "Rule 88." Worse yet, she was seen at the LPGA Championship hitting balls two days later, drawing an angry response from Sorenstam.
"I just feel that there's a little bit of lack of respect and class just to leave a tournament like that and then come out and practice," Sorenstam said.
Wie didn't apologize that week, and she made a weak attempt at one Tuesday when asked if she would have apologized to Sorenstam if she could start the year over.