Consistent Wie Ready for Womens British

By Associated PressAugust 1, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Weetabix WomenLYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- In six LPGA Tour events this year, Michelle Wie has finished no worse than fifth. In three majors, she has finished a combined five shots out of the lead.
No wonder the 16-year-old from Hawaii is convinced she is closer than ever to her first professional victory.
Coming off a tie for second last week at the Evian Masters in France, Wie's next chance and final major of the year is the Women's British Open, where she tied for third a year ago in her last event as an amateur.
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie looks to take the next step this week at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.
'I think a win is coming,' Wie said Tuesday after her first look at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. 'It just depends how lucky you are that week and how good you're playing. I think I'm playing very solidly, but it's a little frustrating that I have not been able to go to the next step. It's not because I'm lacking anything. It's just a shot here, a shot there.
'By doing this, I feel I'm learning how to win.'
Wie appeared headed for victory last week in France when she had a two-shot lead with seven holes to play. But she bogeyed the 13th, Karrie Webb birdied the 14th, and the Australian Hall of Fame went on to win by one shot. Wie closed with a 68.
'Last week I was frustrated -- disappointed is a better word -- thinking, `Oh I wish I could have done that,'' Wie said. 'But, looking back on it, I played really good golf and played solidly until the end.'
Wie picked up her largest career paycheck ($255,333), taking her earnings from six LPGA Tour events to just over $700,000. That's a nice supplement to endorsement deals that could figure to top $15 million this year.
All she needs now is a trophy.
Wie has four runner-up finishes and four third-place finishes in the last 18 months. While frustrated that she still doesn't have a title, she's happy with her consistency.
'If you look at the overall year I feel this is the best I've ever played,' Wie said. 'Obviously I wish I could have won a couple of events. But at least I'm not winning one event and then missing the cut in another. I am consistently being up there and I'm consistently playing good golf.'
She's not bothered by critics who say she lacks the winning instinct.
'It's about my expectations,' Wie said. 'I don't really care what people say about my game. It's not because people expect me to win that I feel frustrated. I expect myself to win. But to get to second and third every week, I think that's pretty good.
'But I think I am ready for a win now.'
Jeong Jang is the defending champion, having won last year at Royal Birkdale. Annika Sorenstam won the last time the Women's British Open was held at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, beating Se Ri Pak by one shot to complete the career Grand Slam in 2003.
Webb, Pak and Sorenstam -- the three best players of their generation -- have won the first three majors of the year, and if either could capture the fourth major, it could go a long way toward helping them win LPGA Tour player of the year.
They could be in a for a blustery week, a far cry from last week at the Evian Masters.
Coming off temperatures in the 90s and calm, sticky conditions close to the French Alps, Wie found entirely different conditions near the northwest English coast.
'It was 30 degrees colder and 10 times windier than last week,' she said. 'It's just hard physically because the wind is so strong and beats you up. It feels like someone's slapping you around. But it's fun out there. I'm used to the wind and it makes the golf course what it is.'
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Women's British Open
  • TV Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

    DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

    Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

    One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

    Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.

    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

    Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

    Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

    He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

    ''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

    ''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

    ''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

    ''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

    Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

    ''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

    ''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

    Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

    Getty Images

    Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

    The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream:

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream:

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

    Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

    Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.

    Notables in the field:

    Tiger Woods

    • Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

    • Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

    • Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.

    Rickie Fowler

    • The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

    • Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

    • On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 

    Rory McIlroy

    • It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

    • McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

    • Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

    Getty Images

    Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

    Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

    ''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

    ''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''

    Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

    Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

    Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

    ''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

    Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

    Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

    ''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

    She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

    Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.