Wie crafts solid final round to tie for 67th


POSTED: Monday, April 06, 2009

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. » Honolulu's Michelle Wie played symmetric golf, opening with a 71 on Thursday, posting two rounds of 81 on Friday and Saturday, then closing with another 1-under 71 yesterday to escape the cellar of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Her four-day total of 16-over 304 left her in a tie for 67th, some 25 shots off the winning pace of Brittany Lincicome. She will cash a paycheck worth $4,674, but more importantly, feel better about herself as she leaves for South Korea to play in an Asian LPGA Tour event next week.

“;That was more like it,”; Wie said after playing her back nine (the front side) in 2-under 34. “;I came back and played more like I'm used to. I had enough of that wind on Friday and it kind of set me back in the third round. I hit the ball a lot better and was able to finally make some putts.”;

She started on the back nine at the same time the leaders went off on the front so CBS could show how she was doing live. The Punahou School graduate didn't disappoint, playing her most consistent round of the first LPGA Tour major of the season.

After shooting a 37 on her front nine that included a birdie at the par-4 12th (her third hole), then bogeys at the 16th and 18th, Wie suddenly found her game midway through her back nine. She bogeyed the par-5 second (her 11th hole), then proceeded to birdie three of four holes, starting at the par-4 fourth from 3 feet.

She then moved to the par-3 fifth, where she hit it in the water on Saturday and knocked it over the back of the hole, then sank the long putt from 20 feet. She just missed another birdie at the par-4 sixth, leaving the putt 2 inches at the side of the hole from 30 feet, then picked up another birdie at the par-4 seventh from 7 feet.

She closed with two pars, then did an interview session where she was more like the Wie local fans have come to enjoy.

“;That's what I call symmetric golf,”; Wie said. “;I just wish I could have done a better job on the weekend, but the conditions were so tough on Friday, all I wanted to do was get out of the wind. It affected my play on Saturday. But today I felt like my old self.”;


Still swinging

Michelle Wie struggled this week, but is second on the LPGA's rookie of the year standings:

1. Jiyai Shin350
2. Michelle Wie95
3. Mika Miyazato89
4. Vicky Hurst73
5. Stacy Lewis40

Source: LPGA.com