Wie four back in Dubai after triple bogey


Ladies European TourDUBAI, United Arab Emirates – England’s Florentyna Parker shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-shot lead in the opening round of the Dubai Ladies Masters, while a late triple bogey dropped Michelle Wie down the leaderboard on Wednesday.

Wie finished with a 71 after the miscue on the eighth hole at the season-ending tournament on the Ladies European Tour.

Maria Verchenova of Russia was second at 68, a shot better than a group of five tied for third that included Marianne Skarpnord of Norway, Julieta Granada of Paraguay, Morgana Robbertze of South Africa, and In-kyung Kim and Bo-mi Suh of South Korea.

The 130th-ranked Parker, who is 11th on the European Tour money list, birdied three of her first four holes and five of the first nine. She had a one birdie and a bogey on the back nine.

“I had a great start and was hitting close to the pin and made the putts,” Parker said. “I felt really comfortable. You have a few birdies and think you can birdie every hole. It just gives you confidence.”

The 10th-ranked Wie, who has been battling a bad back for weeks, was in second for much of the day after making two birdies on her first nine holes and an eagle after the turn. Wie was at 3 under before No. 8, where she hit her drive out of bounds and the next shot into a bunker.

“I was pretty mad. I was like, I can’t believe that just happened,” Wie said. “But things happen on the golf course and all you can do is get mad for a little bit and move forward.”

She finished with a birdie her final hole.

In the race for the European money title, neither South African Lee-Anne Pace (73) nor her only challenger, seven-time winner Laura Davies (75), stood out.

Pace, who tops the money list, can become the first South African to win the Order of Merit if she fends off a challenge from Davies, who needs a top-2 finish.

Davies is 60th and in danger of missing the cut, which will be the top 50 players. She blamed her “awful” round on fatigue after she was awaken by a phone call at 1 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep.

“You don’t like using excuses, but from the word go I told Johnny we are in trouble here,” Davies said, referring to her caddie Johnny Scott. “I made a ridiculous double bogey on 10 and then it was a real struggle. To be honest, 3 over is not a bad effort.”

Davies said she hadn’t given up and was inspired by a birdie on the 18th.

“It’s not the end of the world yet,” she said. “We have to shoot 5 or 6 under every day for the next three days.”