DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
B.J. Wie carried the bag for his daughter, Michelle, in the first two rounds of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Fujikawa is lone Hawaii golfer to advance at Waialae
As Tadd Fujikawa closed out one of the more improbable rounds in PGA Tour history, Michelle Wie made her way into the Waialae Country Club media center with a look of disappointment on her face.
There's little doubt she would have traded places with her fellow local golfer if the fates allowed such a thing, but for Wie, the time has passed for her to become the youngest player in a half-century to make the cut in a tour event.
Beset with a wrist injury that has dogged her since the fall, Wie shot a 6-over 76 yesterday for a two-day total of 14-over 154. Although her gallery remained large enough through most of yesterday's round, many parted company with her on the back side to join the growing following of Fujikawa, whose 4-under 66 left him in the Sony Open in Hawaii field this weekend.
He was the only one of the seven local golfers to make the cut. Parker McLachlin (69) and Dean Wilson (69) birdied the last hole, but still fell one stroke shy of even-par 140. Wilson had a triple bogey on Thursday and McLachlin had a double yesterday that hurt their chances of playing this weekend.
McLachlin made the cut last year and Wilson managed to do so in 2005, but the Sony Open hasn't been overly kind to local golfers through the years. Also missing the cut yesterday were Kevin Hayashi (73) at 7-over 147, David Chin (84) at 20-over 160 and Abe Mariano (82) at 25-over 165.
But of that group, Wie was the most visible, as The Golf Channel focused on the young teen as she tried to become the first female to make a cut in a PGA Tour event since 1945. That goal remains for Wie, but how viable it is at this point in her career remains suspect.
Of the four attempts here since she turned 14 in 2004, this was her worst performance. Last year, she finished at 7 over with a 68 on the second day. In 2005, she managed a 9-over 149 after missing the cut by only one in 2004.
"Yeah, definitely, it's been very disappointing," Wie said. "I tried my best and that's all I can do. I came here thinking if something happens, it happens and I was going to leave with positive memories. I'm just really looking forward to just taking some time off and getting back into it."
When asked if this might change her approach to playing in men's events, Wie remained steadfast in her beliefs.
"Not at all," Wie said. "I think that if I had shot my best round today and I shot this way, then definitely I would reconsider what I want to do.
"This week, I didn't play well and I'm going to take into account a lot of things happened. I think that if I get my game going back again, it's going to work. I have a lot of game in me, it's just not showing right now. I just have to get that coming out, and once it comes out, I think it's going to be good."
Wilson and McLachlin were equally disappointed with their performances. It hurts to come so close and then miss by one. Wilson's two-week run in the island chain was spent with as many activities outside the ropes as practice time inside it. He tried hard to respond to everyone's media requests and it may have distracted him somewhat.
Not that he offered that as an excuse. Poor putting on these island Bermuda greens left him shaking his head more often than not.
"Just didn't make the putts," Wilson explained of not making the cut. "I had my opportunities. It looks like I'm going to be one short. Same thing (as previous years here). Frustrating. I'd come out here and try to prepare the best I can, playing some rounds and getting to know the greens.
"I don't know if that really helps. I come out here and the greens are a lot different this week than they were the previous week (at the Mercedes-Benz Championship). Really fast. I kept knocking putts past and the breaks were a little different."
McLachlin also had trouble on the greens. He had hoped to make the cut in his first event as a member of the tour, but it didn't work out that way. He will play in four of the seven events on the West Coast and hopes for better results.
"Any time you miss the cut it's no fun," McLachlin said. "I played well, I just didn't make any putts. I'm excited about the way I'm hitting the ball and there's always next week."
The double-bogey six at No. 2 proved to be his undoing. There have been 23 double bogeys at that hole this week.
"I hit a great drive," McLachlin said. "It was between 6 and 7 (iron), and just as I was about to hit, I felt some wind coming in and ended up plugging the front right bunker. I just had no chance to get it out. I hit it over the green into the back bunker."
As Wilson and McLachlin leave town for the West Coast, Wie has to decide whether she will play in one or two of the LPGA events held on Oahu. Given the condition of her right wrist, it's possible she will play only one and that will likely be the Fields Open, held on her home course at Ko Olina Resort.
"It's OK," Wie said of the wrist. "It's so-so. I mean, it did hurt a little bit, truth be told. But it is what it is and there's nothing I can do about it. I think I'll get back into it, but I'm really looking forward to a nice rest right now and I'm very eager to get back. I'm not really sure of my schedule right now."
What she is sure of is those who are ready to jump off the bandwagon, let them.
"I don't really care if they jump on the bandwagon or not," Wie said. "It's just what they think and people have opinions. I guess, let them have opinions. But that's not going to change what I want to do because they don't know me personally and they don't know what I want, and they don't feel what I feel.
"So I guess let them have an opinion of me, but I won't take that into account, because I know myself better than anyone and if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it."