Wie Leads Amateur Contingent at Open

By Associated PressJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- She might be brazen. Or maybe just too darn young to know any better. Either way, 15-year-old Michelle Wie thinks she's ready to win the U.S. Open.
 
``If I never think I'm ready, then I can never win,'' Wie said. ``Always think positively.''
 
She had every reason to after a round of 2-over-par 73 on Friday that left her at even after two rounds, in second place, two strokes behind leader Nicole Perrot.

Wie wasn't alone among amateurs whose games were holding up under pressure.
 
Morgan Pressel, the 17-year-old who beat Wie at the U.S. Girls Junior Championship two years ago, also shot 73 to finish the day four strokes out of the lead.
 
``Four shots off with two days left?'' Pressel said. ``That's not bad. I could be higher, but I'll deal with it.''
 
First-round co-leader Brittany Lang shot 6 over to fall six strokes behind. Also in the hunt at 3 over was Amie Cochran, a 19-year-old who finished third at NCAA Championships earlier this year for UCLA.
 
Leading them all was Wie, who said she endured the kind of round in which she ``could have shot some ridiculous numbers today, but I kept my head.''
 
She opened the day hitting driver on No. 10 and wound up with a bogey. After hitting driver on No. 11, she didn't touch the club again -- save the fifth hole, when she put her hand on it on the tee box but thought wiser and hit an iron.
 
``It's very tempting,'' Wie said. ``You know, hit a heroic shot, it feels good, stuff like that. But, you know, you just have to play smart. I think that's what I did.''
 
Spoken like a true veteran.
 
She also salvaged some very difficult pars at points where the round could have gotten away from her. On No. 14, she saved par with a 5-footer. On No. 15, a par-3, she got up and down with a chip and an 8-foot par putt she celebrated with a mini fist pump.
 
In all, it was a controlled, mature effort from a player who isn't ashamed of trying to make history.
 
Next month, she'll compete in the men's U.S. Amateur Public Links tournament, the winner of which traditionally gets an automatic entry into the Masters. She has played on the PGA Tour twice with another appearance set for next month's John Deere Classic. She has been criticized by some, including Nancy Lopez, who said Wie should focus on trying to take down Annika Sorenstam before she focuses on the men.
 
Earlier this week, Wie deflected that criticism, saying ``I still have a lot to learn and I am learning a lot from Annika.''
 
And for the first two days of the Open, she was not only keeping up with Sorenstam, but ahead of her by four strokes after Sorenstam's second round of 75.
 
Not so for Lang, who was tied for the lead at 2 under after the first round and made birdie on her second hole to briefly hold the lead by herself, but finished the day at 4 over.
 
``I'm disappointed, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it,'' she said.
 
The Atlantic Coast Conference champion and a member of Duke's national-championship team, Lang could have turned pro after she graduated earlier this year, but decided to hang onto her amateur status until later this summer.
 
Days like Friday served to confirm that her choice was right.
 
``I just need more experience and that's what I'm getting this summer,'' Lang said.
 
Pressel, meanwhile, was her normal spunky self -- yelling at the ball when it didn't do what she wanted during her round of 1-over 73. She was in a much better frame of mind than Thursday, when she left the course crying after playing the last two holes in 3 over.
 
``I made some bogeys out there, but that's going to happen,'' Pressel said. ``It's the Women's Open.''
 
Wie said she understands the magnitude of the tournament, but she's trying to have fun while she's here.
 
She said she and the girl carrying the scoring standard in her group, who is about her age, whiled away the time during Thursday's rain delay conjuring up a new club.
 
``We called it Club Delay,'' Wie said.
 
Part of being in Club Delay meant they both had to wake up at 4:15 a.m. to be at the course in time for the final three holes of the first round.
 
It's not the way most 15-year-olds like to start their day. Luckily for Wie, she has the last tee time on Saturday.
 
``Let's put it this way: My school starts at 8:30, I wake up at 7:10 or 7:15, so this was kind of early,'' Wie said. ``I am a very big sleeper.''
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
     
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

    Getty Images

    Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

    The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

    The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

    Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

    A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

    Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.