Wie pulls out of LPGA Championship


POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009

RICHMOND, Texas » Michelle Wie is gone, putting all the attention on Lorena Ochoa's player of the year fight with Jiyai Shin at the LPGA Tour Championship.

Wie withdrew from the season-ending event yesterday because of a sprained left ankle, hours after Ochoa shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead over Reilley Rankin.

The 20-year-old Wie, fresh off her first LPGA Tour victory last week at Ochoa's tournament in Mexico, shot a 72 in the afternoon. She limped through her round on the gimpy ankle that she sprained during the Solheim Cup in August.

“;Ice has become my new best friend ... wow today was tough,”; Wie said last night in a Twitter posting.

Wie went for treatment after her round and withdrew about an hour later.

“;I wanted to do everything I could to fight through the injury,”; Wie said in a statement after dropping out of the tournament. “;It bothered me last week in Mexico, but I was able to play through the pain. I realized today that I wouldn't be able to continue to play through it.”;

Wie was 3 under through 12 holes. Her ankle gave way on the 13th tee, and she stumbled backward, sliced her shot into the rough and took her first bogey. She bent over in apparent pain on No. 14, then slipped again hitting her tee shot on No. 17.

“;I want to make sure that I'm being smart with it,”; she said. “;I will return home to have it looked at by my doctors and follow their advice for treatment.”;





        CLIFTON, N.J. » After failing to find a venue to replace Upper Montclair Country Club, the Sybase Classic has dropped off the LPGA Tour schedule for 2010.

Tournament organizer Octagon Worldwide didn't renew its contract with Upper Montclair after a three-year run at the course, then was unable to reach a deal with Essex County Country Club in West Orange.


While New Jersey has lost the Sybase Classic, the tour will return to the Atlantic City area after a three-year absence. The ShopRite LPGA Classic will be held June 14-20 at the Seaview Resort in Galloway Township.


Associated Press




Ochoa teed off in the morning, before the wind picked up across the Houstonian Golf and Country Club.

She was four shots ahead of Shin (70) on the leaderboard, but the 21-year-old South Korean leads Ochoa by eight points (156-148) in the race to become the tour's player of the year. To earn the distinction this year, Ochoa must win this week or finish no worse than third and hope Shin places out of the top 10.

But Ochoa says she's actually feeling more relaxed this week after dealing with the demands of hosting a tournament a week ago.

“;Last week was a little bit tough in many different ways with all the things to do and all the pressure,”; she said. “;Everything is a little bit easier, if you compare it to last week.”;

Shin and Ochoa started on the back nine and both were 2 under after three holes. Shin added birdies at Nos. 13 and 15 to move to 4 under.

Both players bogeyed the difficult 17th, then picked up birdies early on their second nines. Ochoa added birdies on Nos. 6, 8 and 9, capping her round with a 15-foot putt and a modest fist pump.

“;Tomorrow is a new start,”; Ochoa said. “;I'm going to play like I'm a few shots behind and continue being aggressive and give myself chances to win on Sunday.”;

Shin bogeyed two of her last four holes as the wind strengthened. She is trying to sweep the rookie and player awards. Nancy Lopez is the only player to win both in the same season, accomplishing the feat in 1978.

Shin and Ochoa also are in a virtual dead heat for the Vare Trophy, given to the player with the season's lowest scoring average.

“;I played 2 under, which was not bad in the wind,”; Shin said. “;Lorena, she played really good, a 66. But we still have three more rounds. I will just focus on my game and try my best for three more days.”;

Rankin also teed off early and finished her 67 before the wind became a factor. The 30-year-old Rankin has missed seven cuts in 17 starts this season before matching her best round of the year yesterday.

The first round was suspended because of darkness at 5:25 p.m., with four groups still on the course.


Allenby out front at Dubai

Robert Allenby of Australia shot a 7-under 65 for a one-shot lead after the first round of the Dubai World Championship, while Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy vied for the European Tour money title.

Allenby had eight birdies and only one bogey on the Earth Course, which is hosting the $7.5 million final event of the European Tour season. He was one shot ahead of Westwood, Chris Wood and Camilo Villegas, who all shot 66.

When the tournament ends Sunday, the top player on the European Tour's money list will win a $1.5 million bonus from the Race to Dubai.


Kuboya leads in Japan

Kenichi Kuboya shot a 6-under 65 to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the $2.2 million Dunlop Phoenix in Miyazaki, Japan.

Fiji's Vijay Singh shot an even-par 71 to finish six stokes off the pace along with Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa and Japan tour regular David Smail of New Zealand. Defending champion Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand shot a 72.


Cook, Browne tied at top

Champions Tour players John Cook and Olin Browne shot 6-under 66s at Del Monte Golf Course to share the first-round lead in the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational.

Cook had six birdies in his bogey-free round.

Browne opened with an eagle, shot 31 on the front nine and had four birdies.