Play suspended by high winds in 1st round of ANA Inspiration
- Author: Joanne Flowers Mar 31, 2017,
Mar 31, 2017, 7:35
"I was very impressed with her game and how she handled herself out there", said Wie, who played her first ANA Inspiration at age 13.
The Wie-Li pairing on March 30 was a fascinating study of the extraordinary. "Yeah, I was really excited", Li said. "They were just like, 'Damn, she's big.' You know?" In her rookie season, she has already shown a game capable of winning major championships and did finish 6th on debut here a year ago before finishing runner-up at the Evian Championship later in 2016.
Li is nearly a foot shorter than Wie, and she's already a junior in high school.
"The one thing I really wanted to change is my ball has been starting to the left, so I really wanted to have a nice push draw, and it looks like that push draw is working right now", Ryu said.
"I feel like no one really called me cute back then", the 6-foot Wie said with a laugh. "She's really cute. "She's tall" is all I got". She's the rare 14-year-old who is equally interested in politics and the National Basketball Association.
While Wie has never dominated the tour as some anticipated, she won the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst in 2014. Wie won the title. They're both book smart - the homeschooled Li already has skipped two grades (she's a junior), and Wie earned a degree from Stanford while playing full-time on the LPGA.
Wie was only 13 when she debuted at this tournament, then called the Kraft Nabisco Championship, in 2003 as one of the most touted teenagers in golf history. She plays a light competitive schedule in comparison, and while she's fast-tracking through high school, she has yet to make, or at least share, a plan to turn professional.
"Pinehurst was insane", said Li. Bookreporter.com calls it a resource for "serious scholastic usage". "And, just, having an older brother, he explains a lot of the psychology to me. I'm just happy that I'm playing".
Li said she also likes watching TV, and she likes sports.
While Wie's career moved at warp speed (i.e. PGA Tour appearances), Li's progression has been more subdued. "I'm from San Francisco, but I'm a Cavs fan".
It was the second career ace for the young Korean, who won a junior event previous year at Mission Hills.
Wie liked what she saw in Li's game and demeanor. "If I just play the way I play, I think the score will come out very well".
Wie was asked if she gave Li any advice.
For Wie, it puts her squarely in the mix, one off Karine Icher's lead in a tournament she once routinely was among the favorites to win.