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Wie starts slowly in Phoenix


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POSTED: Friday, March 27, 2009

Honolulu's Michelle Wie opened with a 1-over 73 yesterday at the J Golf Phoenix LPGA International and is tied for 37th after the opening 18 holes of the four-round LPGA event. She trails leader In-Kyung Kim by five strokes.

Wie, playing a hole behind world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa, had a sizable gallery follow her in Wie's first tournament since finishing second at the season-opening SBS Open at Turtle Bay. Battling windy conditions, Wie opened with an even-par 36 on the front nine of the par-72 course, with two birdies offsetting a pair of bogeys.

The 19-year-old Punahou School graduate dropped to 1 under for her round with a birdie at the 10th. But that was the last one she sank en route to six pars and two bogeys over her closing eight holes. Wie will go off early today on the back nine.