Wie ready for year's first major next week
She will defend her No. 2 ranking in California
Michelle Wie will travel to the mainland for next week's first major on the LPGA Tour with her No. 2 world ranking tucked safely in her golf bag.
Since passing Paula Creamer a month ago after finishing third at the Fields Open in Hawaii, Wie has been holding off the 2005 LPGA rookie of the year from the safety of a Punahou School classroom. Creamer has played in all four events this season, managing a pair of top-10 finishes, including a tie for seventh at last week's Safeway International.
In the latest Rolex Rankings released Monday, Wie was still No. 2 with a 10.09 points average over her last 15 events. Creamer held on to No. 3 worldwide with a 9.15 average over her last 38 tournaments. Both trail world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam by considerable margins, although they did cut into her advantage.
Last week, Sorenstam had an 18.06 average over her last 41 events, while Wie's average was 9.56 and Creamer's 9.34. That gave Sorenstam a lead of 8.5 points over Wie. But after finishing tied for 19th at the Safeway International, Sorenstam's average dipped to 17.55.
Wie trails by only 7.46 points and moved ahead of Creamer from .18 points to .94. Because major events count more in the overall rating, Wie has an opportunity to solidify her No. 2 ranking at next week's Kraft Nabisco Championship in California. She won't compete again on the LPGA Tour until the McDonald's LPGA Championship in June.
Her next stop vs. the men will take place in South Korea the first week of May at the SK Telecom Open on the Asian Tour. Wie will also make a return trip against the men this November in the Casio Open in Japan, where she failed to make the cut last year.