Wie bit closer


POSTED: Saturday, February 14, 2009

When the Rolex Rankings were first unveiled nearly three years ago, Michelle Wie was third on the list.





        After second round:


Michelle Wie66-70—136-8
Angela Stanford65-71—136-8
Angela Park69-68—137-7
Momoko Ueda68-71—139-5
Stacy Lewis71-70—141-3
Brittany Lang71-70—141-3
Vicky Hurst70-71—141-3
Yani Tseng66-75—141-3
Paula Creamer70-73—143-1
Juli Inkster69-75—144E
Natalie Gulbis74-71—145+1
Cristie Kerr70-75—145+1
Suzann Pettersen73-73—146+2
Kyeong Bae67-79—146+2


The only two golfers in front of the 16-year-old sensation were Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer, creating a firestorm that forced the LPGA Tour to implement a modification that more fairly represented the poll's original intent.

In other words, major tweak.

Wie began this week's SBS Open at Turtle Bay at No. 236 worldwide, quite a drop that reflects how hard a road Wie has traveled since dazzling everyone with a game beyond her years. Folks only casually interested in the game went to see the 6-foot teenaged girl with the perfect swing.

But with perfection comes expectations, and as well as she played in all the major events during those days as a midteen, Wie never won one, creating that creeping doubt that has followed her around like a bad pull-cart ever since.

Now, as she enters today's final round of the last SBS Open at Turtle Bay, she has been given another chance to show she is worthy of, as Shakespeare would say, the pack of blessings that lie upon her back.

Imagine the transformation for the 19-year-old from Punahou School, finally stripping away that last piece of sticky tape and opening the package of potential once and for all. Wie was the clubhouse leader for most of yesterday's windy second round at the difficult Arnold Palmer-designed course.

Her 2-under 70 left her at 8-under 136 for the tournament and one shot clear of first-round leader Angela Stanford as she began her afternoon tour of duty in the brutal conditions. The Texan kept in touch, drawing even three holes into her second round, and then remaining at 8 under with 15 consecutive pars.

Angela Park had the best round of the day at 4-under 68 and is alone in third at 7-under 137. World No. 2 Yani Tseng, who began the second 18 tied for second with Wie at 6 under par, double bogeyed the first hole in the breezy conditions and never fully recovered with a 3-over 75.

Japan's Momoko Ueda (71) is alone in fourth at 5-under 139 with Tseng, Brittany Lang (70), and tour rookies Stacy Lewis (70) and Vicky Hurst (71) tied for fifth at 3-under 141.

But all eyes will be on Wie, not only locally, but worldwide as well to see if she can win for the first time since she was 13 in her 49th tour event.

“;It feels good,”; Wie said of being in contention. “;I mean, I didn't really feel like I'm on top of the leaderboard or anything right now. I'm just glad I played a good round today and I'm just really excited to come back home and play in front of my home crowd again. I think tomorrow will be another fun day.”;

For someone who always wanted to be first and make history as a young teen, Wie is taking a more subtle approach about being in today's final pairing. The last time she was in this position was at the Evian Masters in 2006—something she didn't recall—but conceded a win would be huge just the same.

“;I just don't want to get that ingrained in my head just yet,”; Wie said. “;I feel like everyone has been asking me that, and it's still a day left, and I just want to do the same thing, play as hard as I can and obviously (winning) would mean a lot. So, I'm just going to try to have fun out there.”;

Stanford didn't have a lot of fun, but still managed to keep it close by not taking too many chances. For her, par was good enough to maintain at least a share of the lead after shooting 65 on Thursday.

“;I think that might have been one of the toughest rounds I can remember in a long time,”; Stanford said. “;At one point on No. 6, I was having flashbacks to Turnberry in '02 (at the Women's British Open). Literally, I was having a hard time keeping the umbrella even sideways. You want to give yourself as many chances as possible for birdie, but par is not bad at all.”;

As for playing with Wie, well, Stanford knows what to expect. Last year when she won in Mexico, she had to take on world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa on her home soil. The biggest difference today is Wie will be in the final pairing for her. In Mexico, Ochoa was not.

“;I've never played with Michelle, so I don't really know what to expect,”; Stanford said. “;I'm sure there will be a lot of people out. I'm sure she will be excited, but at the same time I'm just kind of doing my deal. I like it. It's fun because you know they're pulling for her, but that doesn't mean they're pulling against me.”;



SBS Open


At Turtle Bay Resort, Palmer Course, par 72

Second round

Michelle Wie66-70136-8
Angela Stanford65-71136-8
Angela Park69-68137-7
Momoko Ueda68-71139-5
Stacy Lewis71-70141-3
Brittany Lang71-70141-3
Vicky Hurst70-71141-3
Yani Tseng66-75141-3
Ai Miyazato72-70142-2
Hee Kyung Seo72-71143-1
Na Yeon Choi71-72143-1
Jee Young Lee71-72143-1
Paula Creamer70-73143-1
Taylor Leon69-74143-1
Wendy Ward73-71144E
Eun-Hee Ji73-71144E
Hee Young Park71-73144E
Jin Young Pak70-74144E
Juli Inkster69-75144E
Natalie Gulbis74-71145+1
Johanna Mundy74-71145+1
Michele Redman73-72145+1
Sarah Lee73-72145+1
Kristy McPherson72-73145+1
Jane Park72-73145+1
Anja Monke72-73145+1
Janice Moodie71-74145+1
Hee-Won Han70-75145+1
Cristie Kerr70-75145+1
Sun Young Yoo74-72146+2
Candie Kung73-73146+2
Suzann Pettersen73-73146+2
Nicole Castrale72-74146+2
Meena Lee71-75146+2
Laura Diaz70-76146+2
Kyeong Bae67-79146+2
Reilley Rankin76-71147+3
Anna Grzebien75-72147+3
Pat Hurst75-72147+3
Shanshan Feng73-74147+3
Minea Blomqvist72-75147+3
Kris Tamulis70-77147+3
Jimin Kang69-78147+3
Teresa Lu69-78147+3
Maggie Will75-73148+4
Stephanie Louden74-74148+4
Sung Ah Yim72-76148+4
Giulia Sergas72-76148+4
Meaghan Francella72-76148+4
Stacy Prammanasudh71-77148+4
In-Kyung Kim69-79148+4
M.J. Hur77-72149+5
Russy Gulyanamitta76-73149+5
Grace Park75-74149+5
Katie Futcher75-74149+5
Jackie Gallagher-Smith73-76149+5
Morgan Pressel73-76149+5
Moira Dunn72-77149+5
Silvia Cavalleri71-78149+5
Amy Hung78-72150+6
Allison Fouch76-74150+6
Louise Stahle76-74150+6
Lisa Strom75-75150+6
Linda Wessberg74-76150+6
Paige Mackenzie74-76150+6
Jill McGill74-76150+6
Christina Kim74-76150+6
Carolina Llano74-76150+6
Birdie Kim74-76150+6
Wendy Doolan74-76150+6
Anna Nordqvist74-76150+6
Sarah Jane Smith73-77150+6
Jennifer Rosales73-77150+6
Heather Young73-77150+6
Il Mi Chung73-77150+6
Aree Song73-77150+6
Kelli Kuehne72-78150+6
Shiho Oyama71-79150+6
Alena Sharp71-79150+6
Lorie Kane71-79150+6
Audra Burks70-80150+6
Lindsey Wright70-80150+6
Mika Miyazato70-80150+6

Failed to Qualify

Mikaela Parmlid76-75151+7
Jeehae Lee75-76151+7
Joo Mi Kim74-77151+7
Mollie Fankhauser74-77151+7
Soo-Yun Kang74-77151+7
Karine Icher74-77151+7
Song Yi Choi73-78151+7
Rachel Hetherington73-78151+7
Young Kim73-78151+7
Charlotte Mayorkas73-78151+7
Haeji Kang72-79151+7
Anna Rawson80-72152+8
Louise Friberg75-77152+8
Leta Lindley75-77152+8
Allison Hanna-Williams75-77152+8
Irene Cho74-78152+8
Angela Jerman71-81152+8
Se Ri Pak79-74153+9
Liselotte Neumann78-75153+9
Eva Dahllof74-79153+9
Jiyai Shin72-81153+9
Young-A Yang78-76154+10
Jimin Jeong77-77154+10
Leah Wigger76-78154+10
Sandra Gal75-79154+10
Marcy Hart74-80154+10
H.J. Choi78-77155+11
Eunjung Yi78-77155+11
Kate Golden77-78155+11
Kim Hall76-79155+11
Na On Min76-79155+11
Carri Wood76-79155+11
Amy Yang75-80155+11
Meredith Duncan73-82155+11
Michelle Ellis80-76156+12
Michelle McGann80-76156+12
Julieta Granada78-78156+12
Cindy Rarick77-79156+12
Mindy Kim76-80156+12
Chella Choi76-80156+12
Erica Blasberg76-80156+12
Danielle Downey74-82156+12
Janell Howland78-79157+13
Dorothy Delasin77-80157+13
Brittany Lincicome81-77158+14
Samantha Richdale77-81158+14
Ha Neul Kim82-77159+15
Jamie Hullett79-80159+15
Becky Lucidi77-82159+15
Jeanne Cho-Hunicke72-87159+15
Becky Iverson81-79160+16
Beth Bader77-84161+17
Young Jo85-78163+19
Na Ri Kim76WD

Tee No. 1

Start time: 8:40 a.m.

Shanshan Feng, Minea Blomqvist, Kris Tamulis

Start time: 8:50 a.m.

Railey Rankin, Pat Hurst, Anna Grzebien

Start time: 9:00 a.m.

Meena Lee, Laura Diaz, Kyeong Bae

Start time: 9:10 a.m.

Suzann Pettersen, Candie Kung, Nicole Castrale

Start time: 9:20 a.m.

Cristie Kerr, Hee-Won Han, Sun Young Yoo

Start time: 9:30 a.m.

Anja Monke, Jane Park, Janice Moodie

Start time: 9:40 a.m.

Sarah Lee, Michele Redman, Kristy McPherson

Start time: 9:50 a.m.

Juli Inkster, Johanna Mundy, Natalie Gulbis

Start time: 10:00 a.m.

Eun-Hee Ji, Hee Young Park, Jin Young Pak

Start time: 10:10 a.m.

Paula Creamer, Taylor Leon, Wendy Ward

Start time: 10:20 a.m.

Hee Kyung Seo, Jee Young Lee, Na Yeon Choi

Start time: 10:30a.m.

Vicky Hurst, Yani Tseng, Ai Miyazato

Start time: 10:40 a.m.

Momoko Ueda, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis

Start time: 10:50 a.m.

Michelle Wie, Angela Stanford, Angela Park

Tee No. 10

Start time: 8:40 a.m.

Teresa Lu, Jimin Kang, Maggie Will

Start time: 8:50 a.m.

Stephanie Louden, Giulia Sergas, Sung Ah Yim

Start time: 9:00 a.m.

Meaghan Francella, Stacy Prammanasudh, In-Kyung Kim

Start time: 9:10 a.m.

M.J. Hur, Russy Gulyanamitta, Grace Park

Start time: 9:20 a.m.

Katie Futcher, Morgan Pressel, Jackie Gallagher-Smith

Start time: 9:30 a.m.

Moira Dunn, Silvia Cavalleri, Amy Hung

Start time: 9:40 a.m.

Louise Stahle, Allison Fouch, Lisa Strom

Start time: 9:50 a.m.

Jill McGill, Paige MacKenzie, Linda Wessberg

Start time: 10:00 a.m.

Birdie Kim, Carolina Liano, Christina Kim

Start time: 10:10 a.m.

Anna Nordqvist, Wendy Doolan, Sarah Jane Smith

Start time: 10:20 a.m.

Il Mi Chung, Heather Young, Jennifer Rosales

Start time: 10:30 a.m.

Aree Song, Kelli Kuehne, Shiho Oyama

Start time: 10:40 a.m.

Lorie Kane, Alena Sharp, Audra Burks

Start time: 10:50 a.m.

Mika Miyazato, Lindsey Wright