U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
Bad hole kills Wie’s round
EDINA, Minn. » Michelle Wie climbed three steps onto a platform, preparing to explain her quintuple-bogey 9 on one hole and her 81 in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open.
"This is my execution platform," she said with a grin.
Her performance at Interlachen wasn't that bad -- it just felt that way.
Wie's road to recovery took a nasty detour yesterday when she took seven shots to navigate the final 30 yards of the ninth hole, which took her from the middle of the pack toward the bottom of the leaderboard.
When she tapped in for a 9, she lightly banged the shaft of her putter against her head. Dazed, she stood to the side of the green muttering to herself. She never quite recovered, and she failed to break 80 for the second straight year in the Women's Open.
"I had trouble counting how many strokes I had on that hole," Wie said. "But like I said, it was just one bad hole. And it's the U.S. Open. It will bite you in the butt."
The 18-year-old Punahou graduate had to qualify for the Women's Open for the first time since the eighth grade, and she finished second in her qualifier. That was sandwiched around a sixth-place finish in the Ladies German Open and a tie for 24th last week on the LPGA Tour, her best showing in nearly two years.
The 81 yesterday looked nothing like the 82 she opened with last year at Pine Needles. Wie showed her strength is nearly back to normal, and her short game featured imagination that few other players have on the LPGA Tour.
She probably will need a round of 3-under 70 for a chance to make the cut, which will be tougher in the afternoon. Despite a setback at Interlachen, Wie thought she had that in her.
"I had one bad hole," she said. "And tomorrow, it's going to be a new day."