When Michelle Wie entered our consciousness more than a decade ago as golf's female prodigy, many believed that she would become the LPGA's youngest major champion. Though not the youngest major champion in history, her first major finally arrived on Sunday afternoon.
Hard as it is to believe, the 24-year-old Wie has played on the LPGA Tour for half her life.
* She started playing golf at age 4.
* At age 10, she became the youngest player ever to qualify for the U.S. Publinx.
* At age 12, she became the youngest to survive Monday qualifying for an LPGA Tour event.
* At age 13, she became the youngest player to finish in the Top 10 at an LPGA event.
* At age 14, she competed in a PGA Tour event and shot 68 -- twice -- the lowest ever by a female.
* At age 15, she had a Nike deal.
* By the time she was 17, she began to fade from the elite.
* At age 24, she finally has taken center stage for her achievements, not for her potential.
Sunday’s victory in the U.S. Women’s Open at the Pinehurst No. 2 course was her fourth career win and her first major win in 38 starts.
Wie led the U.S. Open twice before through 54 holes, when she was an amateur at age 15 and again at 16, but lost. Now she has won two of her last six starts on tour.
All the heartache appears to have made Wie noticeably more appreciative of her talent and skills.
"Without the downs, I don’t think I would have been this grateful," Wie said after her win. "What it took me this long to win a major, I just feel that much more grateful that I won it, that much more honored that I became part of this club. I’m just the happiest person alive right now."
Deep down, #webelievedthatWiewouldwin.