Wie hopes to build momentum at State Farm

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2008, 4:00 pm
State Farm Classic Logo 2007SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The field at this weeks State Farm LPGA Classic may be most notable for who its missing.
When play starts Thursday, there will be no Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam or Paula Creamer. In fact, only two of the tours top 10 money winners will be in Springfield.
That could open the field for one of the golfers behind the big-money winners ' eight of the top 25 money winners will play this week, including No. 6 Yani Tseng ' or, perhaps, for Michelle Wie.
The 18-year-old long-hitter, for years considered one of the next great players in womens golf, has never won a tournament, and is playing a handful this summer between sessions at Stanford.
Wie, though, says she doesnt pay any attention to whos at a tournament and who isnt.
All I look at is my game and the golf course, Wie said. All in all, you cant control the players, you cant control the conditions. All you can control is yourself and how you play.
Wie is coming off a 46th-place finish last week at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in Ohio, shooting one over par for the tournament.
Last week, Wie left her driver and her long game in her bag for half of the tournament, saying the course and conditions swayed her to play shorter.
The golf course is very different this week, she said. Last week, you really couldnt hit it past 250 (yards), anywhere really.
It seems like a pretty fun golf course, she said after looking over the layout at Springfields Panther Creek Country Club. I can hit drivers here.
The State Farm Classic will be Wies sixth tournament this year. Her best finish so far is 24th, in June at the Wegmanns LPGA in Pittsford, N.Y.
The last time she played in Illinois was two years ago at the PGA TOUR's John Deere Classic where Wie withdrew from the tournament with what she said was heat exhaustion. She left the course on a stretcher.
Illinois in the summer time can be kind of mean, she quipped to reporters.
But she said she learned a lot from that experience ' water alone, she says she knows now, isnt enough in extreme temperatures ' and hopes to again play with the men, though she isnt sure when or where that might happen.
Its why I started playing golf, Wie said. Its what drives me. Its definitely in my mind right now.
While Wie hopes to build on last weeks 46th-place finish, Angela Stanford hopes to generate a little momentum on a solid ninth-place at the Jamie Farr.
That 8-under performance, Stanford said, followed a rough couple of months, a period in which she said she was pressing too much rather than just playing golf.
Last week was my first good week in a while, she said. I feel like my heads in the right spot.
Stanford said she hasnt paid much attention to the field ' she didnt get to Illinois until Wednesday after attending baseballs All Star Game Tuesday night in New York.
But shed prefer that all the top players be there.
If Im going to win, she said, I want to beat the best players.
A number of the games bigger names, she guessed, chose to skip Springfield because its the last stop before three straight tournaments outside the country ' the Evian Masters in France, the RICOH Womens British Open in England and the CN Canadian Womens Open in Ottawa.
Everybody wants to see the top players, Stanford said, but were really deep.

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