Wie Bit of Trouble at 84 Lumber

By Sports NetworkSeptember 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
84 Lumber ClassicFARMINGTON, Pa. -- PGA TOUR rookie Nicholas Thompson fired an 8-under-par 64 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the 84 Lumber Classic at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa.
Michelle Wie, the 16-year-old phenom who finished dead last at the European Masters on the European Tour last week, continued her struggles against the men.
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie is tied for 125th, 13 shots off the lead.
She only managed a 5-over-par 77 on the longest course she has played with men. Heavy overnight rain also left the greens vulnerable, but did not give a lot of run in the fairways.
Wie began on the back nine Thursday and parred her first three holes. Then problems arose for the youngster. She bogeyed three holes in a row from the 13th and things did not get much better.
After that she parred out on her opening nine, Wie hit an ugly tee shot off the first tee. She could not reach the green with her second, but the 16-year-old gave herself a look at par from 18 feet behind the hole. Wie missed the putt to fall to 4 over par.
Wie played solid golf on the second nine, but missed some opportunities late in her round. She missed a 17-foot birdie putt at the seventh, then her 9-footer at No. 8 stayed above ground.
At the par-4 ninth, Wie landed on the putting surface with her second, but stared at a 50-foot birdie putt. She did not hit a good putt, then missed a 7-footer to save par.
The putter was the problem on Thursday as Wie needed 34 putts.
'I feel like if I can make some putts tomorrow, I can really shoot a low score,' said Wie. 'It all feels good. I'm hitting my irons good. It didn't feel like I shot a 5-over today.'
Wie trails Thompson by 13 shots, but several players closed the gap during the first round.
Will MacKenzie, the winner of the Reno-Tahoe Open last month, shot a 6-under-par 66 and is tied for second place with Greg Kraft, Robert Gamez, Ted Purdy, Nissan Open champion Rory Sabbatini and this year's Booz Allen Classic winner and former British Open champion Ben Curtis.
Three winners this season trail a fairly unheralded TOUR rookie, whose best finish on this season was a tie for sixth at the B.C. Open, played opposite the British Open.
Thompson flew out of the gate on Thursday. At the opening hole, he chipped in for birdie from off the green, then drained a 15-footer at the second. Thompson made it three in a row at the par-3 third when his 4-iron tee ball stopped 4 feet from the stick.
He parred the fourth hole, then returned to making birdies. Thompson reached the green in two at the par-5 fifth and nearly made eagle from 20 feet, but settled for a birdie.
At the sixth, Thompson hit a gap-wedge inside 4 feet and made the birdie putt. He hit another beautiful iron shot close to set up another birdie at the seventh.
All totaled, it was six birdies in his first seven holes.
'It was kind of throwing darts out there,' admitted Thompson.
Things cooled for Thompson at the eighth. He missed the fairway off the tee, then three-putted to fall back to minus-5. Thompson three-putted the ninth for another bogey, but he righted the ship immediately on the back nine.
At the par-4 10th, Thompson hit a wedge to 5 feet to set up birdie. He made it back-to-back birdies at the par-5 11th when his third stopped 6 feet short of the cup and he holed the putt.
Thompson hit a poor approach to the 15th and made bogey to fall back to 5 under par. He atoned for the error by knocking a 4-iron to 3 feet to set up an eagle at the 16th and hitting a 7-iron to 6 feet for a birdie at the 17th.
'I played well,' acknowledged Thompson, who is 181st on the PGA TOUR money list and desperately could use a big paycheck in hopes of keeping his card for next year. 'I hit a lot of good shots and I can't say much bad about the round.'
Reigning PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Sean O'Hair, Charles Howell III, Tag Ridings, Hunter Mahan, Robert Garrigus and Marco Dawson are knotted in eighth place at minus-5.
Defending champion Jason Gore struggled to a 1-over-par 73 and is part of a group tied for 70th place.
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  • McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

    Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

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    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

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    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

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    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

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    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”