Golf

Wie expects to return in time to defend Singapore title

Michelle Wie says she is set to return from right wrist surgery in time to defend her LPGA title at next month's HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore.

The 29-year-old American golfer has already resumed putting and chipping, posting photos and updates on her Instagram page, and appeared at a promotional event for equipment-maker Callaway last week.

"I cannot wait. I'm so excited to get back out there," Wie said in an LPGA website posting that said she would likely return to Singapore for the US$1.5-million (S$2m) tournament at the Sentosa Golf Club from Feb 28 to March 3.

"I've been doing my training, doing my workouts every day. I'm just excited to be healthy again and give it my all."

Wie underwent wrist surgery in October to repair a small fracture, bone spurs and a pinched nerve. She played only 16 events last year, her fewest since the 2009 campaign.

Last weekend on Instagram, she shared her delight at being able to putt and chip once more.

"Yesterday was the first time hitting putts longer than 4 ft and I have to say it felt REALLY good to make some clutch putts against @erikanderslang @brodiesmith21 in our little putting contest," Wie said.

"Let's just say... the competitive juices are realllllly starting to brew inside. Getting antsy to come back but I also realize that I need to be patient with my body."

She later posted a chip shot video, adding: "First day chipping!! Woohooo! I still remember how to hit a chip shot!"

Wie has won five LPGA events, ending a four-year win drought since her 2014 US Women's Open title by capturing her 2018 season opener in Singapore, where she hopes to retain her crown.

Her challengers include some of the world's best women golfers such as top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn.

For more information on the championship, visit hsbcgolf.com/womens. - AFP

Golf