Michelle Wie hopes for game boost from gluten-free diet

21 Feb 2012 09:16

US golfing star Michelle Wie said she is feeling healthier after embarking on a gluten-free diet, inspired partly by the success story of tennis world number one Novak Djokovic.

"I heard that story that he turned gluten free and became number one in the world," Wie on Tuesday told a press conference in Singapore ahead of the $1.4-million HSBC Women's Champions tournament starting Thursday where she will be competing.

"I think it's really motivating me," she said in response to a question from AFP.

Djokovic, who has battled allergies in his career, has credited a gluten-free diet as one of the key reasons behind his surge to the top of men's tennis.

Like the Serbian, Wie is also allergy-prone and has tweeted earlier this month that her hands are less swollen after omitting gluten from her diet.

"I am allergic to everything in this world, I don't really digest food very well," the 22-year-old Hawaiian of Korean descent said.

"So I just thought maybe if I cut out gluten, I can feel better because I heard that it causes inflammation, everything... but it's been week three and I feel a big difference.

"You know, my joints don't feel sore as much, I digest food a lot better, my hands feel less swollen so I feel really good."

The Singapore event is Wie's second competition of the 2012 season and the former golf prodigy is hoping to improve on her performance last week at the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament where she struggled for consistency.

"Last week I was very rusty, it was my first tournament of the year," said Wie.

"I ended the first round and I felt rusty but I felt like last week was very good for me, just getting the rust out and getting used to playing tournaments again, getting again used to knowing what to do."

Wie, who turned turned pro shortly before her 16th birthday, said having to cope with school work from Stanford University has not been a hindrance at all in her golfing career.

"I don't think going to college has really affected my golf just because I have never actually had an experience of playing golf without going to school," she said.

"It has always been a part of my life and I am on track to graduate this March so it's going to be interesting for the first time in my golfing career that I won't have school or school work to do."