It had to be a bittersweet homecoming for Michelle Wie.

The U.S. Women’s Open began Thursday in the San Francisco Bay Area at CordeValle Golf Club, and the course is only 47 miles south of where Wie attended college at Stanford.

On Sunday, she made a “little quick jaunt” to the campus where she spent parts of six years earning a bachelor’s degree in communications while juggling endorsement deals and a demanding schedule on the LPGA Tour.

Stanford was Wie’s cocoon, her place to be just another kid going to football games and cramming for exams. She didn’t have much of a childhood, competing for the first time on the LPGA Tour at 12 years old.

Wie is 26 now, a decade gone since she turned pro, and she has all of four victories to show for that time – or nine fewer than 19-year-old Lydia Ko.

You have to wonder if a part of Wie wanted to be back on that campus and in the cocoon again, working on her master’s in something, away from the spotlight and the sport where she hasn’t been able to make the grades she wanted.

“I think when you’re a kid, everything seems easy,” Wie said earlier this week. “You haven’t had the failures yet. You haven’t come across obstacles.

“And I think every adult can say, ‘Oh, I remember when I was back in middle school or in kindergarten, I was so fearless.’ ”

Wie is anything but fearless now. Two years removed from her greatest victory – a clinical dissection of Pinehurst No. 2 in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open – Wie worries about injuries at every turn while lacking much of golf’s elixir – confidence.

In 50 tournaments since Pinehurst, Wie hasn’t won and rarely contended. Her best finish in the past year was 11th in the 2015 Women’s Open, while this season’s best is a tie for 25th, with eight missed cuts in 16 starts.

“It’s definitely been a struggle this year, not the year I planned,” Wie said. “But I still have half the year left. I’ve been working on my game and I’ve just been trying to build confidence.

“I’m still having fun out there. That’s the most important thing. Just keep grinding, believe in myself. And I know I’m going to turn it around.”

Every golfer will say that, of course. In Wie’s case there are circumstances that might not be in her control. Much like with Tiger Woods, the 6-foot Wie’s lanky body is letting her down at an alarmingly young age.

In the last year alone she has had ankle, hip, neck and wrist problems. She recently had a cortisone shot in her left wrist, which was revealed by her longtime coach, David Leadbetter.

“When you’re smashing golf balls from 5 or 6 years old and your body is not really dialed in to do that, you probably at some stage down the road are going to suffer the consequences,” Leadbetter told Golfweek.

Wie and Leadbetter insisted that she’s pain-free this week. Asked how long that had been the case, Wie said, “Can I say Saturday of last week?”

The problem with the injuries is that Wie has to adjust her swing to compensate, which has left her with little consistency. Her LPGA statistics show a player without a strength.

Once among the biggest hitters, Wie has dropped to 26th (262.94 yards) in driving distance. She is 156th in driving accuracy, 138th in greens in regulation, 123rd in putting per greens in regulation and 137th in scoring (73.43).

A few years ago former player Dottie Pepper questioned Wie’s inner drive to be great. That still seems to be the case, most evident by her choice to keep her parents close by her side.

If Wie is book smart and charmingly goofy at times, she hardly seems worldly, despite tons of experience in the world.

There’s no question that Wie has worked diligently. The injuries are real, and for her to have endured them is a testament to her toughness.

In 2013 Pepper said of her, “Golf is not the end of the world. If this is not what she decides to do when she’s 30 years old, so what?”

So true. And at this point, getting to 30 as a pro might be Wie’s toughest assignment.