WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN
Michelle Wie is tied for 21st after yesterday's first round.
Bogeyman gets Wie on back 9
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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland » Michelle Wie was mostly back on her game yesterday, shooting an even-par 73 in the opening round of the Women's British Open.
Wie is six shots back of Mexico's Lorena Ochoa, who shot a 67 in a bid to win her first major.
Wie was 3 under through 10 holes, but made three bogeys over the final eight. Overall, though, it was some of her best golf this year.
"I feel like I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Wie said. "My wrist is getting stronger and stronger. I'm just going to be patient with myself and keep my head on, and see where it takes me."
On her mostly steady front nine, Wie saved par from 90 feet with a chip and a 5-foot putt at the second, before making birdies at the fourth and fifth on putts of 10 feet and 7 feet.
"Overall I felt it was a really solid round," she said.
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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland » Michelle Wie was tied for the lead early on in yesterday's opening round of the Women's British Open. Too bad the back nine got in her way.
The 17-year-old Punahou School graduate was 3 under for her round through 10 holes and trailed world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa by only one shot. But at that point, the two went in opposite directions.
Ochoa went on to birdie two more holes to take the first-day lead with a 6-under 67 at the par-73 Old Course.
Wie needed to sink a 20-foot putt for par at the last to keep from shooting 1 over for her round. As it was, she had three bogeys on the back side en route to an even-par 73 that left her in a tie for 21st with 14 other golfers.
Wie is hopeful she will be around for the weekend.
" I thought it was somewhat disappointing and somewhat successful," Wie said. "I played pretty solid. I played the shots I wanted to hit -- lots of knockdowns. I left myself some easy, reasonable putts.
"Unfortunately on the back, I was unlucky with a couple of bounces. My second shots left me with some really tough putts. Overall, I felt like it was a really solid round. I felt like I got it going, made some birdies and, you know, level par here is pretty good. It was wet, cold this morning; I was freezing, so I was wearing a mitten to keep my left wrist warm."
The Hawaii star managed a birdie on the par-4, 406-yard fourth, hitting a driver, 9-iron to within 10 feet for birdie. She quickly followed with another birdie on the par-5 fifth from 8 feet. Wie birdied the 10th to move within one shot of the lead, but she struggled from there.
Her first bogey came on the par-3 11th, where she missed a 4-foot putt for par.
Michelle Wie started off strong but struggled on the back nine to finish the first round at even-par 73.
Another bogey followed at the par-5 14th. She ripped a driver off the tee, then hit another for her second shot, which she blocked right into deep rough. Two chips and two putts later she finally found the hole.
Wie's final bogey occurred at the 16th, where she suffered a three-putt. She made up for it, however, with the long par-saving putt at the last. It brought a roar from the crowd for affectionately calls her the "Wee Wie."
"Today has boosted my confidence a lot because I was able to hit a lot of shots that I wanted to hit. Being here is a lot of fun."
Ochoa teed off just prior to Wie and shot the round of the day. Ochoa now holds the professional woman's course record for The Old Course.
"Yes, it was just a really good day," Ochoa said.
"It was one of those days that things are easy. My tee shots gave me good positions on the fairways. And I was really glad that I took advantage of the nice conditions in the morning.
"I got up at 5 a.m. today. It was great to have just a little bit of breeze early, and I took advantage of that by making some birdies, and now I'm in a good position. You know, we are all so excited to be here that I'm just glad I did this right on my first try. I tried to take as much advantage as I could, and now I'm feeling good. I am going to keep my golf ball and the scorecard."
Just two shots off the lead are Sweden's Louise Friberg and South Korea's In-Bee Park.
Japan's Ai Miyazato and England's Rebecca Hudson are in at 3-under 70, tied for fourth.
As for Wie, she's just glad to be playing a course in the country where golf was born.
"You know, it's so lovely," Wie said. "It's the greatest honor being able to play here.
"Just watching it on TV and actually playing it is completely different.
"And the greens, they are very strange -- to putt from like 50 yards away from the greens. It's just so amazing. My goal is to play like Tiger (Woods) played this course this week, not to hit it in any of the pot bunkers for all four days. It is a very tough golf course."