Thirteen-year-old Wie Tries to Qualify for Sony
Wie shot a 1-over par 73, but failed to qualify for the Sony Open in competition Monday. Wie was the youngest and only female in the field of 96 players trying to make the four remaining slots for the event.
''I think someday we'll be better,'' said Wie, who played from the championship tees with the men. ''Women strive harder and they have better goals.''
Regan Lee and Andy Miller qualified for the Sony with a 65. Royden Heirakuji and Richard Pride each had a 66 and took the two other qualifying spots after a playoff with Gregory Meyer and Mark Worthington.
Wie finished tied for 47th from a field that included 12 PGA Tour players and 12 from the Nationwide Tour.
Wie, who began the round at the 6,787-yard Pearl Country Club on the back nine, made the turn at 35, but bogeyed Nos. 1, 2 and 8, dropping her out of contention. She also had three birdies in the round.
''It was just the stupid mistakes that I had,'' she said. ''I just have to have more experience, eliminate the bogeys and make the birdies.''
Wie, who played in three LPGA Tour events last year as an amateur, was paired with Puerto Rican Juan Rodriguez and Honolulu resident Robert Ota.
''If she keeps going the way she is, Annika better watch out,'' said Rodriguez, nephew of golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said there were no distractions despite the media that followed them and being paired with a girl, almost a third his age.
''She's a very good player and she behaves herself really well on the golf course,'' he said. ''She just made a couple mistakes putting the ball, other than that she hit the ball pretty good.''
Rodriguez said he was competing against the course and not Wie.
''As far as she's concerned, I treated her like every other golfer and she did very well,'' he said.
Senior PGA Tour player Dick Mast also got a look at Wie -- who stands at 5-foot-10 and can drive the golf ball 300 yards. He said it would've been great for her to qualify.
''She's got a beautiful swing, it's amazing she's only in eighth grade,'' he said.
Mast said although there hasn't been a woman on the PGA Tour, given the technology, equipment and training, he wouldn't be surprised to see Wie alongside the men one day.
''She might be the next Tiger Woods of the ladies tour and might be able to play the men's tour,'' he said. ''It would be something to see.''
Last year, Suzy Whaley became the first woman to qualify for a PGA Tour event when her victory in a PGA sectional tournament -- even though she played from shorter tees -- made her eligible for the Greater Hartford Open.
Wie, who last year became the youngest player to earn a spot in an LPGA Tour event through a qualifier, said she'll most likely try to make the Sony Open again.
Monday was the second time Wie attempted to make the Sony Open. In the 2000 Monday qualifier -- when Wie was 10 -- she shot an 84.
''I didn't know much about the game, I just went out there and played,'' she said. ''This year I have more experience.''
Wie isn't eligible to turn pro until five more years, but doesn't plan to until she finishes college.
B.J. Wie, her father and caddie, said he's proud of his daughter's overall performance, but will need to work on reading the greens and putting.
Wie said she wasn't pleased with her play, but she was happy about something else.
''I showed that I can play,'' she said.
Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open
JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.
The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.
Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.
''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''
Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 5: Dec. 12
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18
Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open
Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.
Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.
Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.
The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 6, Dustin Johnson
Only Dustin Johnson could win four times in 2017 and it still feels as though he underachieved.
That’s unfair, perhaps, but it’s a testament to Johnson’s awesome ability – and his incredible run of form last spring – that observers can’t help but shake the feeling that his year could have been even better.
In February, he rose to the top of the world rankings for the first time, the culmination of a long, bizarre journey in which he often battled himself (through major blunders and, reportedly, drug-related suspensions) as much as his peers. Johnson’s blowout victory at Riviera was his first of three consecutive titles (including two WGCs), as he achieved Tiger-like levels of dominance and rolled into the Masters as the prohibitive favorite.
Expectations for this star-crossed talent are always different, and so the surprise wasn’t that he blew that major but that he didn’t even give himself a chance. In one of the biggest stunners of the year, Johnson’s manager announced on the eve of the first round that his client had suffered a back injury while slipping on a set of stairs in his rental house. Just like that, the year’s first major was thrown into chaos, with Johnson unable to play – the line of demarcation in his good-but-not-great year.
Though he added a playoff victory at the end of the season, Johnson failed to factor in any of the remaining three majors and was surprisingly inconsistent, perhaps because of swing compensations after the injury.
Would DJ have denied Sergio Garcia a green jacket? Would he have created even more separation at the top of the world rankings? Would he have defended his Player of the Year title? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
In typical DJ fashion, he left us to ponder what could have been.
Johnson becomes world No. 1, starts season with three straight wins
Johnson enters Masters as odds-on favorite, withdraws after falling down stairs
DJ welcomes second child with fiancée Paulina Gretzky
This and that: DJ and Paulina in 2017
Johnson adds fourth win of season, blows chance at fifth