I checked the morning results and it seems she fell just short, shooting an even par 4th round to finish in 4th place, while Inbee Park took the title.
I went looking online for her current form, and after finding the coverage posted on Youtube, I’ll show you one of her drives, and I will only say one thing – it’s impressive that she was averaging 256 yards per drive, considering she only has half a swing.
I’m trying to not be negative here, but that’s the most positive thing I can say – she isn’t using any leg or hip on the back swing, and it’s a very short back swing, so it’s a half-swing, really:
Michelle Wie – 3rd Round HSBC Women’s Champions
Now for the bad news – for a woman as athletic as Michelle is, and one who stands 6′ or 183 cm, how on earth is she ranked 30th in driving distance against her competition?
Not a lot of events, but let’s look at her current driving distance average at age 27 and compare it with previous years:
2009 – 19 yrs – 269 yards average – Rank 4th
2010 – 20 yrs – 274 yards average – Rank 1st
2011 – 21 yrs – 268 yards average – Rank 6th
2012 – 22 yrs – 268 yards average – Rank 4th
2013 – 23 yrs – 254 yards average – Rank 33rd
2014 – 24 yrs – 257 yards average – Rank 22nd
2015 – 25 yrs – 257 yards average – Rank 26th
2017 – 27 yrs – 256 yards average – Rank 30th
I’ll add that in 2008, when she competed in a PGA Tour event, she averaged 301 yards per drive on measuring holes and averaged 281 yards on all drives, and that would have been as an 18 year old.
In 2010, she was averaging 274 yards per drive!
For comparison, Luke Donald of the PGA Tour is this year averaging 274 yards, and K.J. Choi and Jerry Kelly are currently averaging 273 off the tee…
So, this year’s stats, even while sparsely provided with only 3 events, puts her clearly on the level she’s inhabited since 2013, so we’re not likely to see an increase in yardage, considering how she’s swinging:
Top Of The Back Swing
What I can’t figure out is why a golfer with such strength and athleticism would resort to such a tortured, effort-heavy and distance-light swing motion, especially as she is now claiming to be injury-free.
I guess we’ll never know how the girl with the 300 yard drives turned into a plunker off the tee…