Wie Finishes Hawaiian Mens Event Under Par
Last year, Wie finished with an 8-over 224 and tied for 43rd. In 2002, she missed the cut by three strokes in her first tournament against men.
'I improved from last year,' Wie said. 'I hope I can just reach another level next year.'
She's certainly has proved she belongs.
Two years ago at the tournament, Wie played against the men with little fanfare. This year, as a seasoned 14-year-old, she was mobbed by autograph seekers and played in front of the tournament's only gallery.
I guess it's a little different because all the guys, they know I was going to play out here,' she said. 'When I was 12, they didn't really know. It was like, 'What are you doing out here?''
'I don't really remember when I was 12. A lot has happened since then.'
The ninth-grader from Honolulu began the day at 2-under 142, tied for 35th along with five others at the $80,000 event, one of the top men's golf tournaments in the state.
The field included 62 U.S. pros and 70 pros from the Japanese tour. Two-time champion Kiyoshi Murota, 10th last year on the Japanese tour money list, was the early leader.
'My goal this tournament was to win it, but after the first day, I didn't really have that much of a chance so I just went for top 10 or low amateur,' Wie said.
She dazzled the crowd Sunday with her booming drives, but struggled with her short game. Her roller-coaster round included four birdies and four bogeys.
Conditions at the 6,787-yard Pearl Country Club were calm and balmy.
Her first shot of the day was a 320-yard drive on the 559-yard No. 1 that helped set up her 8-foot birdie putt, which she holed. She just missed a 15-foot eagle putt and ended with another birdie on the par-4 fifth.
Like her birdies, her bogeys were scattered throughout the round. She bogeyed the uphill 194-yard No. 13 three days in a row.
Wie said she needs to concentrate on her accuracy and short game.
'This week my short game was a little shaky,' she said. 'I think if I get those two things more consistent, I'll be able to play better.'
The Hawaii Pearl Open is the second tournament of the year for Wie. Last month, she became the youngest player on the PGA Tour at the Sony Open, where she shot 68 in the second round and missed the cut by one shot.
Her performance led to invitations to play in seven other PGA Tour events. Wie said she's still undecided whether she'll accept any of them.
'I don't think we're playing in them,' she said. 'I'm not sure.'
Wie played seven times on the LPGA Tour last year, missing the cut just once. She missed the cut on the men's Canadian and Nationwide tours, and her only victory in any event came at the Women's Public Links, where she became the youngest winner of a USGA event for adults.
She will return to competing against the women next month at the Safeway International, one of the strongest fields on the LPGA Tour, followed by the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first LPGA major of the year.
Wie said she's looking forward to the change.
'The courses are shorter, obviously, but the rough is slightly less long,' she said. 'But it's both the same. A tournament is a tournament. It doesn't matter who you play against. You're playing against the course.'
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.