Life is a lot easier the lower you keep your expectations. Unfortunately, Michelle Wie never got that opportunity.
The girl who was going push women's golf into the mainstream didn't.
It's common knowledge that Wie, at least so far, has failed to live up to over-the-top expectations placed on her shoulders after becoming the youngest person to win a United States Golf Association adult championship, the Women's Amateur Public Links, at the ridiculously young age of 13. She first turned pro as a junior in high school, yet hasn't been able to capture a major championship so far.
While hoping to turn around her floundering golf game, Wie did accomplish something that not even Tiger Woods has. She earned a undergraduate degree in communications at Stanford. Wie finished up while participating in 20 LPGA events in 2011, a year that saw her finish 18th on the money list. Somehow Wie handled a 20-credit slate during the year.
"I was thinking it would take me anywhere between eight years and never to graduate," Wie told the New York Times Adam Schupak.
On June 17, Wie will walk at Stanford's commencement. By the way, it took her only five years to earn her degree. The teen prodigy turned young woman admits she's got some work to do when it comes to her golf career.
"When I see people that have won majors and I haven't won one yet, I do feel like I’m behind," Wie explained. "But going to school was a very personal decision for me. I needed it."
For instance, she lived a pretty normal college life while studying in Palo Alto. The New York Times reports Wie decided she wanted to attend Stanford at the age of 5 on a visit to the campus where her paternal grandfather worked as a visiting professor. While in school, Wie lived in the dorms and became friends with students who had no idea about her professional sports fame.
Although some critics will say education took a priority over the LPGA tour, she's quick to point out that's just not true.
"If it was between writing a paper and going to practice, I always chose practice," she said. "If anything, my grades took a hit."
In any event, Wie won't have to worry about college exams again, now she must figure out what happened to her golf game. "I've been absolutely horrible this year," she admits of her performance on the LPGA tour.
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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