PALM DESERT, Calif. Michelle Wie is playing her final LPGA Tour event of the year.
She wishes it were her first.
After a disastrous season filled with wrist injuries, a feud with Annika Sorenstam and only one round under par, Wie said Tuesday her biggest mistake was not taking the year off to get healthy.
"The only thing that I would do differently (is) I wouldn't have played this year. It's as simple as that," she said at the Samsung World Championship. "The only thing that I did wrong this year is that I did not take my injuries as seriously as I should have."
One thing she is taking seriously is her role as a student, though not necessarily by choice.
Wie started her freshman year at Stanford last month, taking courses such as Humanities, Japanese and Calculus.
"The lectures ... are amazing," she said. "I write pages and pages of notes. I never really experienced that before. It's a lot of fun. When you're in high school, you are usually the outstanding student. But when you go into Stanford, you're like, 'Am I the mistake exception?' Everyone is so smart. Everyone is so outstanding in whatever they do."
She has access to Stanford's golf course, although she can't practice or play with the team as a professional. But she said she has learned to balance the books with practice, and she said this is the best her wrists have felt all year.
"I just feel like a cleaner, healthier person," she said.
Wie received a sponsor's exemption in March to play the Samsung World Championship, a 20-player field that carries a mixed bag of memories for Wie, who turns 18 on Thursday.
It was at Bighorn where she made her professional debut in 2005. Wie played well enough to finish fourth until she was disqualified for what was deemed an improper drop in the third round, an infraction that a magazine writer did not bring up until the next day.
A year ago, Wie hit the ball all over the desert, and played one shot off the cement cart path on her way to a quadruple-bogey 8 on the shortest hole at Bighorn. That knocked her off the leaderboard, and she hasn't been back since.
Wie showed up at the Sony Open on the PGA Tour in January with a tender wrist, which was attributed to that shot off the cart path. She broke the other wrist a few weeks later when she fell while jogging in a park.
And that was the start of her free fall.
Wie has played seven times on the LPGA Tour, completing only two tournaments. She made the cut on the number at the LPGA Championship and made the cut at the Evian Masters. Both tournaments, she failed to break 80 in the third round.
But the scores were only part of the problem.
She returned at the Ginn Tribute, hosted by Sorenstam, and was 14 over par through 16 holes when she suddenly withdrew. Two bogeys would have disqualified her from the LPGA Tour for a year, and some thought she was evading the tour's "Rule 88." Worse yet, she was seen at the LPGA Championship hitting balls two days later, drawing an angry response from Sorenstam.
"I just feel that there's a little bit of lack of respect and class just to leave a tournament like that and then come out and practice," Sorenstam said.
Wie didn't apologize that week, and she made a weak attempt at one Tuesday when asked if she would have apologized to Sorenstam if she could start the year over.
"I never really said that," Wie said. "I still don't feel like I didn't something wrong. But if I felt if Annika or anyone felt like I disrespected them, of if I'd done anything wrong to them, I do apologize for that. But I don't really feel like I've done anything wrong as with myself."
Because she is not a member, Wie is allowed six sponsor exemptions on the LPGA Tour, not including the U.S. Women's Open and the Women's British Open. The Samsung World Championship, which starts Thursday, is her final exemption.
In the meantime, she appears to love life as a college student.
Wie said she thought about going to LPGA Tour qualifying school now that she is old enough to become a member, but it was the same time as orientation at Stanford.
"I really didn't want to miss that," she said.
All freshmen must live in the dorm at Stanford, and Wie said she gets along well with her roommate. She even celebrated Stanford's stunning upset over Southern California last week.
"Do you really want to get me started on that?" she said. "I was so happy that we won. No. 48, he lives in my dorm."
That would be Owen Marecic, a freshman fullback.
Wie did not say if she would play again the rest of the year. Wie has played only once against the men, missing the cut badly at the Sony Open. The last two years, she has played the Casio World Open in Japan. For now, her focus is on her final LPGA event of the year.
"I think that it's time for a new beginning," she said. "I'm really looking forward to it."