Wie schooled by Stanford


POSTED: Sunday, February 15, 2009

Michelle Wie stood behind the 16th green, alone in a crowd of people, the index finger of her right hand in one eye and her thumb in the other, squeezing back the disappointment of letting another tournament slip away at the end.





        Final, with prize money:

Angela Stanford$180,000206-10
Michelle Wie$108,332209-7
Na Yeon Choi$69,690212-4
Angela Park$69,690212-4
Ai Miyazato$44,484213-3
Yani Tseng$44,484213-3
Cristie Kerr$29,755214-2
Natalie Gulbis$20,948215-1
Paula Creamer$15,539216E
Momoko Ueda$12,930217+1
Morgan Pressel$9,905219+3
Kyeong Bae$9,905219+3



Moments before, the Punahou School graduate stood over a 4-foot birdie putt that would have cut eventual winner Angela Stanford's lead to one. But instead of knocking it into the center of the cup, it grazed the right side, forcing Wie almost to her knees in shock and dismay, her putter held high above her head for several seconds as reality set in.

“;It was weird, I didn't pull it or anything. It just didn't choose to go in the hole,”; Wie said.

She tapped in for par, walked across the green to a lonely spot behind the hole on the way to the 17th tee, not noticing a little boy at the edge of the ropes holding his cap in hopes of an autograph from the woman who would be queen of golf if she ever figures out how to win.

These days, that isn't a problem for Stanford, who overcame Wie's huge home-field advantage by turning a three-shot deficit with eight to play into a three-shot victory at the final SBS Open at Turtle Bay. A large crowd, that at one point rimmed the entire length of the par-5 ninth fairway, did its best to lift Wie's spirits, but it wasn't enough to overcome her own mistakes.

Up three at the par-4 11th, Wie hit her drive high into a crossing tradewind that turned its flight path into the classic banana slice and into the water guarding the right side of the fairway. Wie took a drop, hit her third shot over the green, flubbed the first chip and then knocked the second one to within 9 feet. She sank that one for a double-bogey six that dropped her from 10 under to 8 and allowed Stanford back in it.

“;Standing on the green at 10, I thought, I don't know if I can make up three shots in this wind,”;Stanford said. “;She was going to need to make a mistake. And I was really quite shocked when her ball went into the hazard (at 11).”;

That's all the experienced Texan needed as she birdied three in a row at Nos. 13 through 15 to shoot a final-round 70 for a 10-under 206. Wie finished alone in second with a closing 1-over 73 that left her at 7-under 209 for the 54-hole event. Playing partner Angela Park (75) tied for third with Na Yeon Choi (69) at 3-under 212.

Stanford drew even with a birdie from 15 feet at the 13th and took the lead for good with a 4-footer at the 14th. Just in case Wie wasn't paying attention, Stanford knocked in another birdie from 10 feet at the 15th to let the 19-year-old know that this is how it's done in the major leagues.

It was Stanford's third win in seven starts dating to last year. Ranked No. 8 in the world coming in, Stanford conceded she was surprised at how well she played from tee to green and how well she putted once the flat stick was in her grasp.

“;The birdie on 15 was huge,”; Stanford said. “;And when she missed the putt on 16, again, I was very impressed with her going at that flag. I mean, that's what she had to do. And that's what's so impressive about her, is that she has that shot, that she can go at that flag at that moment. So it surprised me that she missed it.”;

From there, it was only a matter of Stanford keeping it between the fence posts, something Texans know all too well when hoisting shots into the wind. For Wie, this tournament wasn't lost only yesterday. She missed 3- to 5-foot putts on several occasions during the tournament that came back to haunt her.

“;I felt like I played pretty solidly,”; Wie said. “;I just had that one bad hole that I was kind of disappointed about. There are a lot of positive things I can take from this week. It's not what I wanted, but it's just the beginning. I think there's a lot more good stuff to come out of it.”;

Turtle Bay had never been kind to Stanford until this week. She feels a little guilty for beating Wie in front of the home crowd, but as she said, that's golf.

“;I don't want to get my mother into trouble,”; Stanford said. “;Only a mom can say this, OK? So, I'm going to give you this. She said, I spoiled Annika's (Sorenstam) last tournament and I kind of spoiled Michelle's first one. So I'm used to wearing the black hat, so it's OK.”;




Yesterday, at Turtle Bay Resort, Palmer Course, Par 72 Final round

Angela Stanford, $180,00065-71-70206
Michelle Wie, $108,33266-70-73209
Na Yeon Choi, $69,69071-72-69212
Angela Park, $69,69069-68-75212
Ai Miyazato, $44,48472-70-71213
Yani Tseng, $44,48466-75-72213
Sarah Lee, $29,75573-72-69214
Cristie Kerr, $29,75570-75-69214
Brittany Lang, $29,75571-70-73214
Natalie Gulbis, $20,94874-71-70215
Jane Park, $20,94872-73-70215
Eun-Hee Ji, $20,94873-71-71215
Jee Young Lee, $20,94871-72-72215
Taylor Leon, $20,94869-74-72215
Candie Kung, $15,53973-73-70216
Johanna Mundy, $15,53974-71-71216
Hee Kyung Seo, $15,53972-71-73216
Paula Creamer, $15,53970-73-73216
Vicky Hurst, $15,53970-71-75216
Stephanie Louden, $12,93074-74-69217
Hee-Won Han, $12,93070-75-72217
Stacy Lewis, $12,93071-70-76217
Momoko Ueda, $12,93068-71-78217
Kristy McPherson, $11,53672-73-73218
Janice Moodie, $11,53671-74-73218
Morgan Pressel, $9,90573-76-70219
Meaghan Francella, $9,90572-76-71219
Pat Hurst, $9,90575-72-72219
Laura Diaz, $9,90570-76-73219
Kyeong Bae, $9,90567-79-73219
Anja Monke, $9,90572-73-74219
Grace Park, $7,61775-74-71220
Kris Tamulis, $7,61770-77-73220
Suzann Pettersen, $7,61773-73-74220
Meena Lee, $7,61771-75-74220
Wendy Ward, $7,61773-71-76220
Jin Young Pak, $7,61770-74-76220
Juli Inkster, $7,61769-75-76220
Sarah Jane Smith, $5,59773-77-71221
Russy Gulyanamitta, $5,59776-73-72221
Moira Dunn, $5,59772-77-72221
Maggie Will, $5,59775-73-73221
Sun Young Yoo, $5,59774-72-75221
Nicole Castrale, $5,59772-74-75221
Michele Redman, $5,59773-72-76221
Hee Young Park, $5,59771-73-77221
Allison Fouch, $4,50776-74-72222
Giulia Sergas, $4,50772-76-74222
In-Kyung Kim, $4,50769-79-74222
Christina Kim, $3,91474-76-73223
Heather Young, $3,91473-77-73223
Kelli Kuehne, $3,91472-78-73223
Shiho Oyama, $3,91471-79-73223
Shanshan Feng, $3,91473-74-76223
Jennifer Rosales, $3,32273-77-74224
Mika Miyazato, $3,32270-80-74224
Reilley Rankin, $3,32276-71-77224
Teresa Lu, $3,32269-78-77224
Jimin Kang, $3,32269-78-77224
Amy Hung, $3,32278-72-75225
Anna Nordqvist, $2,84774-76-75225
Wendy Doolan, $2,84774-76-75225
M.J. Hur, $2,84777-72-76225
Minea Blomqvist, $2,84772-75-78225
Carolina Llano, $2,55174-76-76226
Il Mi Chung, $2,55173-77-76226
Lorie Kane, $2,55171-79-76226
Lindsey Wright, $2,55170-80-76226
Silvia Cavalleri, $2,55171-78-77226
Louise Stahle, $2,34376-74-77227
Jill McGill, $2,34374-76-77227
Katie Futcher, $2,34375-74-78227
Sung Ah Yim, $2,26972-76-80228
Stacy Prammanasudh, $2,26971-77-80228
Paige Mackenzie, $2,15774-76-79229
Linda Wessberg, $2,15774-76-79229
Aree Song, $2,15773-77-79229
Audra Burks, $2,15770-80-79229
Jackie Gallagher-Smith, $2,15773-76-80229
Anna Grzebien, $2,15775-72-82229
Lisa Strom, $2,03575-75-80230
Birdie Kim, $2,03574-76-80230
Alena Sharp, $2,03571-79-80230