LPGA Tour

Wie turns to Jack Nicklaus putting style in opening-round 70

Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie ( Associated Press )

Thursday, March 31, 2016

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Who doesn’t want to be like Jack? Michelle Wie, ever the tinkerer, thought she’d try to take a page out of the Jack Nicklaus playbook and narrow her putting stance at the ANA Inspiration.

“I kind of always saw how Jack putted and it kind of worked out OK for him,” said Wie, who maintained her unique table-top posture.

“Putting is all about feel, and obviously just kind of tried that out, felt comfortable, and hopefully maybe stick with it.”

Wiesy shot 2-under 70 to open the season’s first major and trails leaders Ai Miyazato and Azahara Munoz by three shots. She hit seven fairways, 14 greens and took 30 putts. Afterward, she called it “an easy round.” It’s worth noting that Nicklaus never wore leopard-printed high-tops while winning all those majors.

Wie, who finished runner-up here to Lexi Thompson in 2014, said she spent close to five hours the past two days at Mission Hills working on her short game. She explained there’s no real process to her evolving putting style.

“I see pictures of Jack putting and stuff, and just try to emulate it,” she said. “Trying to kind of copy it a little bit, feeling more centered, feeling more balanced. Putting is all about that feel thing. You need a little bit of a spark, just a comfortable feeling, and that kind of worked for me today.”

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