Fresh off first win since 2014, Wie looking to remain healthy

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By JOHN NICHOLSON

The Associated Press

PHOENIX — Michelle Wie is trying to have fun — and stay healthy.

“My goal is to play the whole year and not to take an extended break during the season,” Wie said at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. “That would be my whole goal. Keep my organs in my body.”

Organs?

Yep, last August — a week after helping the U.S. win the Solheim Cup — the golfer from Honolulu had her appendix removed after being stricken before the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.

She has recently fought arthritis in her hands, first with cortisone and now with collagen injections. She also is off to a fast start this season, winning the HSBC Women’s World Championship two weeks ago in Singapore for her fifth career victory and first since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.

“I’ve (been) working really hard on my putting,” Wie said. “During the offseason, I putt and chip for at least five hours a day. I just put in the time. It feels good that it’s paying off. … I think being confident with your putter, it brings a different mindset into the game.”

Now 28, she has spent more than half of her life in the spotlight. That has made her health and game struggles more difficult — and made her stronger.

“I think the first down really shocked me. I took it really hard and it wasn’t easy,” Wie said. “Then you start to realize that life doesn’t really happen that way. You start to hear about other people going through injuries and stuff like that. Then you see some people and their life seems so easy. Everyone has their own struggles. I think my struggles have just been very publicized and very public.

“After the first time it gets easier, and then it gets harder and then it gets easier. I just draw strength from knowing that I’ve done it before and I have reached very lows and I’ve pulled myself out of it. I definitely have a lot of confidence from that, just knowing from experience that I can.”

She will open play today at Desert Ridge in a group with Bahamas winner Brittany Lincicome and Women’s Australian Open champion Jin Young Ko.

“I always think the best is in front of me,” Wie said. “That’s why I practice and work so hard.”

Golf on TV

Today

8 a.m.–PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational, first round, GOLF

Noon–LPGA Founders Cup, first round, GOLF