Wie Reaches Match Play of Publinx

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LEBANON, Ohio -- Michelle Wie bounced back with a 2-over 72 in the final round of stroke play at the U.S. Amateur Public Links on Tuesday, good enough to secure a spot in the match play portion of the championship.
 
'Match play is a lot more intense,' she said after completing the 36 holes of medal play in 8-over 148.
 
Wie, a high school junior-to-be from Honolulu, is playing in the men's APL because the winner is traditionally invited to play at The Masters.
 
The first female to qualify for a men's U.S. Golf Association championship, the 15-year-old Wie shot a 76 in Monday's first round.
 
The top 64 in stroke play moved on to match play, which culminates with a 36-hole final on Saturday.
 
Wie's score was above the cut line when she finished, but scores went up in the afternoon and she ended up tied for 49th.
 
She will play Will Claxton, a quarterfinalist a year ago, in her first-round match on Wednesday morning. The 23-year-old Claxton, a recent graduate of Auburn, is from Swainsboro, Ga.
 
'I've obviously seen her play on TV,' Claxton said. 'I'm just going to try to treat her like any other player and things will take care of themselves. I won't be ashamed to lose to her, and I'm not afraid to play her.'
 
For the second day in a row, a huge gallery cheered every one of Wie's shots. About 300 people, including Wie's parents, stuck with her for most of her round. Numerous USGA officials and two deputy sheriffs attempted to clear the way for Wie and her fellow players.
 
Not everyone was a Wie fan, however.
 
'I don't think she should be here,' said Danny Green, who tied for second in medal play after matching the tournament low with a 65 for a 2-under 138. 'I think she should play in the women's tournaments because they don't let the men play in women's tournaments. I just don't agree with that, but it's not my call. She qualified and she is going by the rules. She's here and she is a great player. I've got nothing against that.'
 
Wie responded, 'I don't really care what they think because I actually qualified for this event. So I feel I belong here. I'm not looking for 100 percent support. I know there are going to be people against me. I'm not going to stop just for them.'
 
The low medalist was Anthony Kim, who shot rounds of 71 and 65 for 4-under 136, a dozen shots better than Wie. Kim is a two-time All-American who will be a junior at Oklahoma this fall.
 
Green, playing in his 13th APL, was tied for second with Iowa State junior Rodney Hamblin Jr. (70-68) and 16-year-old Sihwan Kim (69-69), the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion.
 
Wie began the day tied for 84th in the 156-player field.
 
Starting on the 10th tee at Shaker Run Golf Club, she bogeyed three of four holes during one span early in her round.
 
'I wasn't feeling very good about my game,' she said. 'I made a couple of stupid errors here and there. I refocused after that.'
 
She countered by birdieing three holes in a row at holes 17, 18 and 1. She had played those same holes in 3-over the day before.
 
'I learned a lot from yesterday,' she said. 'The back nine was still fresh in my mind when I played this morning, and that helped a lot.'
 
She had double-bogeyed the 17th on Monday but birdied it with a two-putt from 60 feet after reaching the par-5 hole with a drive and 4 iron.
 
'I should get the most improved award from yesterday,' she said.
 
But much as she had done the day before, when she was even-par through 10 holes and then played the last eight in 6 over, she made costly mistakes on the final nine.
 
She was even for the day through 11 holes, but then bogeyed three of the next five holes, barely missing a 9-foot birdie putt on the closing hole.
 
One spectator near the green was wearing a homemade T-shirt which said, 'Michelle Who?'
 
Playing partner Ed McDugle, who struggled to an 80 for a 158 to miss match play, said there was a simple solution for those who don't want Wie to play golf with the men.
 
'She teed it up with the men and if the men don't like it they should have beat her,' he said.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Field Scores - U.S. Amateur Public Links
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Amateur Public Links
     
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