Wie wishes women's major staged in Asia

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 20, 2016 12:39 AM

By Patrick Johnston

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - American golfer Michelle Wie said she would like to see one of the five women's major championships staged in Asia.

The region's heavy interest in the women's game, buoyed by the number of local players at the top of the world rankings, is reflected with seven events on the LPGA schedule in Asia, including the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore from March 3-6.

But the 26-year-old Korean-American said she would like Asia to get in on the major scene, which was boosted to five in 2013 when the French-based Evian Championship joined the British Open and three American hosted elite championships.

"I think the HSBC tournament is always a really strong field. The players always love to come to Singapore," she told local-based reporters in a call on Saturday when asked if the tournament featuring all of the top 10 merited major billing.

"I think whether or not it should be a major tournament is really not in our hands. The LPGA takes in to consideration a lot of guidelines regarding that.

"It would be nice to see Asia have a major championship. Some things need to happen for that, you never know...it would be really nice to see."

Wie won a breakthrough major at the 2014 U.S. Open but said she has struggled for fitness since and now sits 33rd in the world rankings.

She said she had spent the off-season working to improve her health and was targeting a drive back up the rankings and spot on the U.S. team for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

"I'm really excited about 2016. 2015 was tough with injuries so my number one goal is to stay healthy and have a season where everything is great and I feel healthy and injury free," said the former teen prodigy who turned professional at 15 to much fanfare.

"I took a big chunk of the off-season off to try and get my body right and my swing to where it doesn't really hurt me.

"My number two goal is to win majors and make big teams. Those are the goals I have."

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)