Michelle Wie was in relaxed mood at Killeen Castle on Tuesday. Photo by Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieMichelle Wie has hit back at European vice-captain Annika Sorenstam again and insisted that hitting the books has made her all grown up.

Ten-time major winner Sorenstam believes the big hitting Hawaiian has made a mistake by mixing the tour with her degree at Stanford University and isn’t “mentally strong enough to finish at the top.”

But as she prepares to lead the US in Solheim Cup battle with Europe at Killeen Castle this week, Wie reckons that mixing books and birdies was just what she needed to make up for a lost childhood.

Set to graduate next March, Wie said: “I think that going to college is a very good decision for me.  I think it’s a very personal decision.  

“I didn’t have the normal childhood, per se, growing up in the spotlight.  

“Obviously, I was very connected at the hip with my parents, going to every tournament and spending a lot of time together.

“I think for me going to college was a step for me to grow up, for me to go out there in the real world and kind of live out by myself and get an education.

“I’ve never felt so proud when I got that acceptance letter for me to go.  It was a very personal decision.  I don’t regret it at all.”

Wie turned professional with Tiger Woods style hype just before her 16th birthday, signing contracts with Nike and Sony believed to be worth over $12m.

But she has won just twice on the LPGA Tour since and Sorenstam reckons she’s got her priorities all wrong and failed to live up to the fanfare.

Sorenstam said: “I think really her focus, in my opinion, should be more on the golf.

“She’s very distracted with school, doesn’t really play as much full time as I thought she would. I think she needs to come out here and compete more regularly.”

Wie insists her studies make her work even harder on her game and she hoping to prove it by grabbing her second Solheim Cup win and America’s fourth in a row.

She won three and half points out of four on her debut in 2009 but insisted:  “I feel like a rookie. I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen this week.”

The Americans are odds on favourites with the bookies but US veteran Angela Stanford is claiming that they’re the underdogs.

Stanford said: “This is my fourth time and this is the most consistent European team I have faced from top to bottom.  They’re solid, and they’re at home.”