Wie struggles in return to LPGA Tour
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Michelle Wie's brief return to the LPGA Tour was more of the same during yesterday's opening round of the Samsung World Championship. She celebrated her 18th birthday with a seven-over 79 to place last in the 20-person field, a dozen shots behind first-day leaders Paula Creamer and Angela Park.
"All the putts looked like they were going to go in, but they didn't," Wie said. "Obviously, I had a couple of stray tee shots. But there's always tomorrow."
Asked what she was doing for her birthday, Wie, a Stanford freshman, said, "Go home and study. Basically, I have a lot of stuff to do. I have to read a book, so it should be an exciting birthday."
Wie has struggled this year, making only two cuts and earning $9,899 in seven events.
Local golfers Dean Wilson, Parker McLachlin and Tadd Fujikawa teed it up at the Frys.com Open in Las Vegas. Playing the Canyons Course, McLachlin opened with a 2-under 69 and Wilson shot an even-par 72. Fujikawa was on the Summerlin course where he had a 2-over 74.
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PALM DESERT, Calif. » Paula Creamer and Angela Park shot 5-under 67s yesterday to share the first-round lead in the Samsung World Championship, while Michelle Wie was last in the 20-player field after a 79.
The two front-runners have something else in common -- the 21-year-old Creamer was the LPGA Tour's Rookie of the Year in 2005 and the 19-year-old Park already has clinched the honor this year.
Park, who was born in Brazil and moved with her parents to Los Angeles when she was 8, said she was nervous but thrilled to be in the tournament.
"I don't know how to describe the feeling, coming out here," she said. "Obviously being one of the top 20, elite members of women's golf, is a very priceless experience. And especially to be the only rookie out here gives me great pride and gives me a lot of confidence."
Creamer had her irons clicking during her bogey-free round.
She said getting up and down from 115 yards for a par on the second hole seemed to steady her, and she birdied No. 3 to get some momentum.
"I hit the ball really solid, had a lot of good looks at birdie. Made some good ones, missed a couple of very easy putts," Creamer said. "But overall, it's the first day and I am very pleased with the way I played."
Creamer finished second to Annika Sorenstam in the 2005 tournament, and was fifth last year when Lorena Ochoa won.
Ochoa led most of the first round this time, but a late lapse cost her when she made a double bogey on the final hole to drop into a three-way tie with Morgan Pressel and Mi Hyun Kim at 68.
Wie, who turned 18 yesterday, sprayed some shots and couldn't get putts to fall. She was three shots behind 19th-place Bettina Huart.
"It was a really tough day for me," Wie said. "I just couldn't get anything going. What really was the pinnacle of the day: I hit a really good wedge shot and it hit the pin and came back 30 feet. It was just that kind of day."
May, Gore shoot 63
LAS VEGAS » Bob May shot a 9-under 63 at the par-72 TPC Summerlin to top the leaderboard in the Frys.com Open, while Jason Gore had an 8-under 63 on the par-71 TPC The Canyons.
May, who lives in Las Vegas, will play at Canyons today, while Gore will play the Summerlin course. The final two rounds will be at Summerlin.
Jeff Overton, D.J. Trahan, Cameron Beckman and Rich Beem were two strokes back, all but Beem (64 at Canyons) sitting at 65 after playing their rounds at Summerlin.
Playing on the Canyons course, Punahou alumnus Parker McLachlin went 2-under 69 and Castle grad Dean Wilson shot even-par 71.
Moanalua High's Tadd Fujikawa, playing on a sponsor's exemption, shot 2-over 74 on the Summerlin course.
Casey, Els advance
VIRGINIA WATER, England » Defending champion Paul Casey and six-time winner Ernie Els advanced to the second round of the World Match Play Championship.
The top-seeded Casey beat Jerry Kelly 3 and 2, and Els routed Colin Montgomerie 6 and 5. U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera had 11 birdies to beat Retief Goosen 6 and 5.
Vancsik up by one
MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Argentina's Daniel Vancsik shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Portugal's Jose Filipe Lima after the first round of the Madrid Open. Germany's Martin Kaymer and Scotland's Steven O'Hara shot 67s.