Notes Wie in Top 10 After Two Rounds


2005 McDonaldHARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- Michelle Wie loves the idea of being first, but the 15-year-old from Hawaii has some work to do to win the LPGA Championship.
Wie was in the first group off the 10th tee in the second round at Bulle Rock Golf Club on Friday, playing under a cloudy sky and in damp conditions in front of an intimate gathering of about two dozen fans.
While the idea of a 7:15 a.m. tee time might not seem desirable to some, Wie welcomed the chance to lead the field.
'It's a total advantage because it's not hot, for one, and No. 2, the greens are perfect because they just cut it. That's great,' said Wie, who shot a 1-under 71 and was tied for ninth at 4 under, five strokes behind front-runner Annika Sorenstam.
Wie wasn't able to take advantage of the freshly mowed greens, missing five putts from 15 feet or less on the front nine.
The frustration showed as Wie froze after an 8-foot miss at No. 12, and she looked to the sky when her 9-foot birdie try slid by at 14. She pulled her hat over her eyes following a 14-foot miss at No. 16.
She blamed an early three-putt on her continuing troubles.
'Every single putt,' she said. 'After that three-putt on 11, it was a little hard for me to trust my speed. I guess it was just bad luck. I put myself in birdie positions.
'Tomorrow, I hope to make some putts. Who knows?'
Se Ri Pak's string of consecutive cuts made in majors came to an end in the same event in which she won her first tournament as a rookie in 1998.
Pak had rounds of 75 and 78 and missed the cut for the first time in 29 majors.
'That happens,' she said. 'You play well, and suddenly you don't play so well. The last seven years for me have been an unbelievable success.'
The South Korean has won 22 LPGA events, including four majors - two LPGA Championships (1998, 2002). But now, Pak is searching for a balance between her golf and her personal life.
'I've been a little bit unhappy about everything, my game. I'm not really enjoying it at all, and I'm not doing anything with my life,' she said. 'I know what I needed, a much better balance. I'm always putting a lot of pressure on myself.'
Pak has struggled this season, missing the cut in four of eight events. She's posted just four under-par scores in 22 rounds and just one round in the 60s. Hard times for a player who has enough points to qualify for the Hall of Fame but must meet the 10-year playing requirement.
Annika Sorenstam will be representing Callaway for the foreseeable future, but it might not always be as a player.
The Swedish star extended her contact with the golf equipment company past 2010, Callaway announced Thursday. But Sorenstam sidestepped a question whether she'd still be playing competitive golf in five years.
'I'm definitely playing for this year and next year, and then we go from there,' Sorenstam said. 'There is a lot of things you can do with a company like that.'
The 34-year-old Sorenstam has played and endorsed Callaway equipment since she turned pro in 1993.
The deal was announced Thursday to avoid any distraction or speculation as Sorenstam attempts to complete the Grand Slam this year and chases Kathy Whitworth's record of 88 LPGA victories. Sorenstam has won 61 tour titles.
Sorenstam, who has a two-stroke lead over Laura Davies heading into the third round of the LPGA Championship, has won five of seven events this year and eight of her last 11 tour starts.
South Korea's Gloria Park made the first hole-in-one at the McDonald's LPGA Championship's new home, Bulle Rock Golf Club. Park aced the 145-yard, par-3 third hole Friday with a 7-iron.
'I made birdie, and I lost the tee,' said playing partner Natalie Gulbis.
Aree Song can claim two firsts. She had the first eagle in competition at Bulle Rock on Thursday, sinking a 7-iron shot from 152 yards at the 18th hole. On Friday, Song had another eagle, chipping in from 72 yards on the 330-yard, par-4 16th.
Laura Davies is beating up Bulle Rock. But Davies' biggest blast came in an event in Austria a couple weeks ago, when she hit a drive 380 yards.
'A little bit of wind behind,' she said. 'It was dead flat, the fairways were dry out there.'
The big-hitting Davies nearly drove the 330-yard 16th hole Friday, and made about a 30-foot chip for eagle.
Natalie Gulbis is juggling golf and the taping of the reality series 'Natalie,' which is scheduled to premier on The Golf Channel in July.
She's also going to be throwing out the first pitch at a Colorado Rockies game during the week of the U.S. Women's Open at Cherry Hills in two weeks.
The calendar girl took offense to the insinuation that she might not have a strong arm. 'I don't throw like a girl,' Gulbis said.
On another occasion when Gulbis threw out a first pitch, she outdid the other ceremonial hurler.
'He threw it way short. The catcher walks up 10 feet and I threw it over his head,' she said. 'I shouldn't say that, now my first pitch will be horrible in Colorado, it'll be right in the dirt.'
Karrie Webb's first round as a Hall of Famer was a stroke worse than her last as a non-hall member. The Australian, who reached the 10-year playing requirement needed for the hall with Thursday's opening round, had a second-round 75 for a 5-over 149 total. ... Grace Park withdrew from the event on the back nine of her second round, citing a back injury. Park finished third in the championship last year and second in 2003.
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