Wie Ammaccapane Exchange Words

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 4, 2003, 4:00 pm
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) -- Danielle Ammaccapane allegedly pushed 13-year-old sensation Michelle Wie and later berated her over a breach of etiquette at the U.S. Women's Open, Wie and her father said Friday.
 
B.J. Wie, who caddies for his daughter, said the contact came on the 14th hole of Thursday's first round at Pumpkin Ridge. Wie played with Ammaccapane and Tracy Hanson.
 
The young golfer said Ammaccapane, a 16-year veteran on the LPGA Tour, was upset that Wie had walked in her line as she prepared to putt. Wie said she was trying to go behind Ammaccapane to get to her own putt.
 
The father claimed Ammaccapane bumped, pushed or brushed his daughter on the green.
 
In the scoring tent after the first round, Michelle Wie said Ammaccapane, 37, had words with her, although the teen wouldn't disclose what was said.
 
'I was really surprised, because I guess I've always played with really nice people,' Wie said.
 
B.J. Wie would only say the exchange was 'nasty,' although he wasn't in the scoring tent at the time.
 
'She's young,' B.J. Wie said of his daughter. 'Danielle is 40, so Michelle is like a daughter. How can she treat a little girl like that?'
 
Ammaccapane, who has seven LPGA Tour victories and was playing in her 17th Open, wouldn't talk about the matter after her round Friday.
 
'I don't have any comments about playing, or etiquette or anything else,' she said as she left the course. She and Wie did not speak or shake hands after the round.
 
Hanson also had no comment.
 
'I'm not going to answer anything about Michelle,' she said.
 
It was the second time in three years that a teenager has been in the middle of controversy over etiquette at the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Morgan Pressel, 13 when she played at Pine Needles in the 2001 Women's Open, frequently walked in the putting line of her playing partners. One of them, Heather Daly-Donofrio, tried to speak privately to Pressel about the breach, but the teen wouldn't listen.
 
'Whatever,' Pressel said at the time.
 
Daly-Donofrio also declined to comment two years ago, sensing she had nothing to gain by publicly criticizing a kid.
 
It also brought back memories of the 1998 U.S. Open, when Peter Kuchar angered Justin Leonard for his movement on the green and cheerleading while caddying for his son, U.S. Amateur champion Matt Kuchar.
 
Wie shot a 73 and at 4-over 146 was assured of making the cut. Ammaccapane had a 74 and was at 148.
 
Wie, a 6-footer from Honolulu who has been hailed as the future of women's golf, has grabbed attention with her 300-yard drives.
 
Two weeks ago Wie became the youngest player to win a USGA title for adults at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links. Earlier this year, she played in the final group of an LPGA major at the Nabisco Championship.
 
She was one of 14 teenagers playing at Pumpkin Ridge.
 
USGA spokesman Marty Parkes walked with the group Thursday and noticed tension rising. He said on the 8th hole, Wie hit out of turn and Ammaccapane followed with a poor shot from the bunker.
 
He also said that the Wies had a tendency to walk up too quickly to their ball, and Hanson at times told them to stop and back up.
 
'Down the stretch it was a little frosty,' Parkes said.
 
B.J. Wie said he complained to the USGA on Thursday night, asking that Ammaccapane not speak directly to Michelle and instead go through rules officials.
 
Krendra Graham, senior director of rules and competition for the U.S. Women's Open, would not discuss details about the alleged conflict or B.J. Wie's request.
 
'From what I understand there was some discussion and some effort was made today,' said Graham, who met with Ammaccapane in the scoring area to discuss the matter after her round Friday.
 
'I think it's between Danielle and Michelle,' Graham said, refusing to say whether any further action would be taken concerning the matter.
 
'He's entitled to what he has to say,' Ammaccapane said of B.J. Wie. 'If he wants to bad mouth me, he can bad mouth me.'
 
After their round Friday, Ammaccapane left the green before Wie made her final putt. The two did not exchange words or shake hands.
 
B.J. Wie suggested Ammaccapane and Hanson should have cut he and his daughter some slack.
 
'They play golf for a living, they know the etiquette,' he said. 'We don't know, we are still learning.'
 
His daughter got the message.
 
'It was a good learning experience, I guess,' she said. 'Now I won't do that anymore.'
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the U.S. Women's Open
  • U.S. Women's Open Leaderboard
     
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    McIlroy gets back on track

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

    There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

    He is well ahead of schedule.

    Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

    “Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

    To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

    And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

    Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

    “I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

    The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

    The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

    But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

    Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

    Everything in his life is lined up.

    Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.