Samsung World Championship leader Grace Park lived in Hawaii in 1991 and 1992 and attended Mid-Pacific Institute. She leads Michelle Wie by two strokes.
Park leads Wie through field
Park takes the lead, but the Punahou student fires a 65 to join her in the final group
» 4:30 a.m.: Lorena Ochoa and Wendy Ward
» 4:40 a.m. Birdie Kim and Heather Bowie
» 4:50 a.m. Natalie Gulbis and Pat Hurst
» 5 a.m. Marisa Baena and Lorie Kane
» 5:10 a.m. Sophie Gustafson and Meena Lee
» 5:20 a.m. Gloria Park and Candie Kung
» 5:30 a.m. Jeong Jang and Rosie Jones
» 5:40 a.m. Catriona Matthew and Cristie Kerr
» 5:50 a.m. Paula Creamer and Annika Sorenstam
» 6 a.m. Grace Park and Michelle Wie
PALM DESERT, Calif. » Michelle Wie and Grace Park have a few things in common.
Both are of Korean ethnicity. Both live or have lived in Hawaii. Both are sponsored by Nike.
But yesterday, Park had three things Wie wanted. One was the lead of the Samsung World Championship at Bighorn.
The other two?
"She's jealous about my shoes," Park said, pointing to her silver Nike togs and smiling.
Park, who lived in Waialae Iki in 1991 and 1992 and attended Mid-Pacific Institute, said she is a big fan of Wie -- who gets all the Nike gear she wants now, as well as some sizable promotional fees.
"She deserves all the attention for now. She's different than the rest of us," Park said.
Park said she looked forward to playing with Wie today in the final group of the third round. They have known each other for more than three years, and played together in a round of the 2004 Nabisco, which Park won.
"I have had a few chances to play with Michelle. I think she is a sweet girl. She is a wonderful player, very strong and great skills. But to me she is still a 16-year-old," said Park, who is 10 years older. "When she talks to me she is like a little sister. I have a good relationship with her. You know, we'll have fun playing together."
Things weren't very enjoyable for Park early on yesterday. She shot a 66 despite being 2-over after a double-bogey on No. 4, which she four-putted.
"I think I've done that twice in my life. I didn't think that would ever end," she said.
Park got one stroke back on the par-5 No. 7 before destroying the back nine with six birdies. Her 67-66--133 put Park two swings ahead of Wie (70-65), defending champion Annika Sorenstam (64-71) and Paula Creamer (66-69--135).
Park won six LPGA tournaments coming into 2005, but has struggled with injuries this year. It's been so bad that she hurt her shoulder last week when a pro-am partner got too rambunctious with a high-five. She said she's OK now.
If the Santa Ana winds rise as expected today and tomorrow, Park said the Bighorn Canyons Course will play much tougher.
"It's going to change dramatically," she said. "I remember last year, Sunday got really windy, the scores went up a lot. If the winds are against (the longer holes) we are not going to be able to reach the greens in two, or have 3-woods or 5-, 7-woods into it. That is really going to make the course much tougher."
No relief: The scoreboard was Sorenstam's friend for most of the first two rounds -- it displayed that she led the tournament.
But on No. 18, it got in her way, contributing to her third bogey of a 35-36--71 round saved only by an eagle on the 508-yard par 5.
Sorenstam was not allowed to move her ball so that she could take a right-to-left shot without hitting the scoreboard.
"I don't understand why the scoreboard was still in my way. I thought I could get a complete relief," she said. "They said no, it's a straight shot. So we disagreed. He is the official. I have to follow the rules."
Moving up, moving down: After Wie's 65, the next-best scores yesterday were the 66s fashioned by Park and Catriona Matthew.
Matthew shot 32-34 to move into a fifth-place tie with Cristie Kerr. Kerr, who shot 32-34--68 on Thursday, carded 37-34--71 yesterday.
Gloria Park fell to a tie with Rosie Jones and Jeong Jang for eighth place by shooting even par 35-37--72 yesterday. She opened with 33-32--65 and was just a stroke behind Sorenstam for the lead after the first round.