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Runner-up finish was Wie's fifth in an LPGA event


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POSTED: Sunday, February 15, 2009

Michelle Wie has been the first to do so many things in her decade-long pursuit to be the best woman's golfer in the world.

She had hoped to be the first rookie ever to win the first event entered, but fell three shots shy of that mark at yesterday's SBS Open at Turtle Bay won by Angela Stanford.

“;She's not really a rookie,”; Stanford pointed out. This was Wie's 49th start in an LPGA event, but those were played on sponsor's exemptions. This is the first event as a card-carrying member, which makes her a rookie.

The second-place finish was the fifth on the LPGA Tour by Wie, who also tied for second here with Cristie Kerr in 2005 as an amateur. Wie is sure to have critics crawling out of the bunker to say she can't finish what she starts, but this victory was more Stanford winning than it was Wie collapsing.

Stanford tied the three-day tournament record of 10 under set by Joo Mi Kim in 2006 and tied by Annika Sorenstam last year. It's likely the final time this event will be held at Turtle Bay, something that saddened Stanford.

“;Everybody wants to defend,”; Stanford said. “;I think it will be sad because I feel like it's been a great relationship, great partnership. I hope they, the powers that be, will work it out.”;

 

Small, but vocal, gallery for Stanford

If Stanford keeps winning, perhaps she'll rival the fame of another Texas Christian athlete of her era; San Diego Chargers all-pro running back LaDanian Tomlinson.

“;I think we were there together just for one year,”; said Stanford, who was a speech communications major. “;We had one class together. I don't remember what it was and it was in the rec building so it could've been coaching baseball or something like that.”;

Wie had the backing of the huge gallery yesterday, with a few exceptions, including a guy in a purple shirt.

“;I don't know if they went to TCU; I didn't have time to ask them. But when I heard the 'Go Frogs,' I thought, 'OK.'

“;I guess there were two guys who my caddie had met. They're like surfer dudes out here. And he gave them tickets. One guy came yesterday and I guess he brought a friend today. And the other two said they were from Fort Worth, or they knew a guy who I play golf with at home.”;

 

Inside the numbers

The scoring average during yesterday's windy and rainy round was a healthy 74.458. The most difficult hole was the par-4 17th with a scoring average of 4.337. There were only three birdies, 50 pars, 29 bogeys and one double bogey—by Silvia Cavalleri.

The easiest hole was the par-5 third with a scoring average of 4.865. There were 17 birdies, 58 pars, seven bogeys and one double—by Meena Lee.