By Larry Fine
RYE, New York (Reuters) - Michelle Wie said the Women's PGA Championship at Westchester Country Club this week has a special buzz to it and hopes her troublesome hip will not slow her down at the second major of the season.
U.S. Women's Open champion Wie is among 23 major winners in the field for the tournament starting on Thursday, which has been rebranded in a partnership between the LPGA and the PGA of America after 60 years billed as the LPGA Championship.
"It's not a new tournament but definitely has a new vibe to it, so it's a lot of fun," Wie told reporters on Tuesday.
Wie hopes the fun lasts for her, though that may depend on whether the bursitis in her hip calms down enough to allow her to unleash her long, flowing swing on the hilly 6,670-yard layout.
The 25-year-old Wie withdrew from the tour's Kingsmill event last month because of her hip after an opening 78, and missed the cut two weeks ago at New Jersey's ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Wie was enthused about the prospects of playing on a classic course that has hosted more than 40 PGA Tour events as a regular stop on the men's tour over the years, but wary of the hills.
"I think it's huge to go to big venues. Obviously they've played PGA Tour events, Senior PGA Tour events at this golf course. The venue is great, has a lot of history," she said.
Wie, who slid from number six in the rankings to 13th as she battled various injuries since her Open triumph, said she took last week off for rest and treatment.
"Took a nice week at home," said Wie, a teenaged prodigy who broke through for her first major title last year at the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst.
"I did everything I could to get ready for this week. I went to physical therapy every single day, got an injection ... and I just rested as much as I can.
The four-time winner on the LPGA Tour added that "it feels great", though she knows that Westchester's terrain may pose a challenge. "We're coming up with ways to walking up these hills.
"You might see me walk backwards, walk sideways, maybe crawl a couple of times, but I'll make it up the hills."
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)