Wie Qualifies for Womens Open

By Associated PressJune 9, 2008, 4:00 pm
U.S. WomenROCKVILLE, MD -- Despite playing 36 holes on a humid day with temperatures nearly reaching triple digits, Michelle Wie was still able to flash a big smile as she sat down with the media.
 
Qualifying for the U.S. Womens Open will do that.
 
Playing on two different courses, Wie carded rounds of 70 and 67 and her 137 total was the second best score on the day and more than enough to qualify her for the 2008 Open, to be played later this month at the Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn.
 
I think I did pretty well. It feels good to be playing good again, said Wie, who has struggled with her game for much of the last year. There were a lot of shots that I left out there today with the putting and a couple of errant tee shots in the middle, but other than that Im pretty pleased with my round and Im really happy to be playing at the U.S. Open.
 
Wies first 18, played at Woodmont Country Club, was an up and down one with five birdies and four bogeys. After starting out with birdies on her second and third holes, some wayward drives left her at 2-over with five holes to play, but she birdied three of the last four holes.
 
I felt like in the middle of the round, my round could have gone anywhere, said Wie. It could have gone to the bad direction, but fortunately I pulled it back together and made a couple of good shots, good putts, and I felt like I saved a lot of really great pars.
 
The venue shifted a few miles away to Manor Country Club, but Wie continued to show improvement with her irons that helped lead to another strong close.
 
Finishing on the front nine, Wie pushed her tee shot on number seven into the trees and after chipping back into the fairway, she smoked an iron from 160 yards to within five feet, which she tapped in for par. That was followed up by a strong iron shot off the tee on a 157 yard Par-3 which she left 20 inches from the cup for a birdie. For her final act, Wie smacked an approach shot on a par-5 to within five feet for another birdie as she snagged one of the 35 spots open to the 121 players at sectional.
 
Wie, who was one shot behind Kelli Kuehnes 136, is regaining her confidence. She finished in sixth place at the Ladies German Open last week.
 
When you are struggling week after week, it takes a toll on your confidence, said Wie. Nobody really gave up on me. My managers, David (Leadbetter, her coach), my parents, my trainer, everyone, they never gave up on me. They are always telling me you are going to get through it and you are going to get better.
 
Wie does not anticipate going to the U.S. Open site prior to the tournament and will return to Florida where she and Leadbetter have been working hard on her game, spending 9-12 hours a day practicing. Asked if she took time to watch last weeks LPGA event, Wie said the bit of television she watched was spent watching a different sporting event.
 
Actually I was kind of busy watching the NBA playoffs, said Wie. Im a big fan of Kevin Garnett.
 
Related Links:
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    Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

    Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

    There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.


    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


    Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

    The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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    Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

    Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

    It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

    While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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    McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

    Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

    Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

    The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

    McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.

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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.