In some ways, Michelle Wie came full circle with her victory at the U.S. Women's Open over the weekend, completing the transformation from young phenom to teen bust to first-time major winner.
The 24-year-old took the occasion to reminisce about tough times along the way.
"I think the fact that I struggled so much, the fact that I kind of went through a hard period of my life, the fact that this trophy is right next to me, it means so much more to me than it ever would have when I was 15," she told reporters.
Wie sank a 25-foot birdie on the 17th hole to defeat No. 1-ranked Stacy Lewis by two strokes. She talked about the lessons she has learned.
"I think when, growing up, I was kind of a control freak. I just wanted to control everything. Have the perfect swing. Have the perfect putting stroke," she said. "I think over the years I started to learn, notice, that you can't be perfect. I started to look at other people's swings. There's so many different swings that win golf tournaments. There's so many different putting strokes. You can't be perfect all the time."
With the men's and the women's Opens playing at Pinehurst No. 2 this year, Wie was reminded that she once tried to qualify for the men's event. She was asked about playing both.
"Oh, my God, that would be horrible, like two U.S. Opens in a row," she said. "Oh, boy. I don't think I could do it."