Wie Shoots Under Par Against Men

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INCHEON, South Korea -- Michelle Wie used strong putting to shoot a 2-under 70 Thursday in the first round of the SK Telecom Open and remained in contention to make her first cut at a men's tournament.
 
The 16-year-old is five strokes behind leader Adam Le Vesconte of Australia, who shot a 65. Wie had four birdies and two bogeys in her eighth attempt at making the cut in a men's tournament.
 
'I felt like I played good and bad,' Wie said. 'I felt like I made some putts where I had to and there are a couple of more days to go, so it will get better.'
 
Wie birdied the opening hole at No. 10 and made three more birdies, including two after the turn on Nos. 1 and 2. She blamed her approach shots for not going lower.
 
'I just got really bad lies, like on the 16th I had a really bad lie and on the par-5 18th,' Wie said. 'So it was just kind of bad luck on the chips, but I felt like I putted very well coming back.'
 
Wie had the first of her two bogeys when her tee shot on the par-4 17th nestled beside a rake -- which had to be removed. Her approach shot sent the ball rolling down a hill and into a water hazard.
 
Her penalty drop was placed on the slope and she deftly chipped within 2 feet to salvage bogey.
 
Wie hit into a bunker on the par-5 6th, then watched her 15-foot putt roll to the lip of the cup before it ran out of steam, drawing sighs from the 300-plus gallery of mostly Koreans.
 
Wie, whose parents were born in South Korea, is regarded by many Koreans as one of their own. The Hawaiian-born Wie finished third in March at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first LPGA major.
 
If she makes the cut after Friday's second round, she will be the second woman to do so at a Korean tournament. LPGA star Se Ri Pak finished tied for 10th at the KPGA Tour's SBS Pro-Golf Championship in 2003.
 
'I do not have a specific strategy for tomorrow, but if I hit my irons well, I'll be all right,' Wie said. 'I'd love to play well and put up a strong challenge. Whatever it is, I'll have a calm and cool approach to the game.'
 
The $600,000 SK Telecom Open is sanctioned by the Asian Tour.
 
BC-GLF--SKTelecomOpenSco     05-04 0246 
BC-GLF--SK Telecom Open Scores,0246
Asian Tour-SK Telecom Open Scores
Thursday - First Round
At Sky 72 Golf Club - Incheon, South Korea
Purse: $600,000 Yardage: 7,152; Par: 72
a-amateur
Adam Le Vesconte, Australia 34-31--65
Iain Steel, Malaysia 33-34--67
Lee Seung-ho, South Korea 32-35--67
Brad Kennedy, Australia 33-34--67
Chapchai Nirat, Thailand 36-32--68
a-Hur In-hoi, South Korea 35-33--68
a-Maeng Dong-seop, South Korea 34-34--68
Adam Groom, Australia 34-34--68
Choi Sang-ho, South Korea 34-34--68
K.J. Choi, South Korea 31-37--68
Cho Hyun-jun, South Korea 34-34--68
Jeev Milka Singh, India 34-34--68
Gary Rusnak, United States 36-33--69
Hwang Inn-chool, South Korea 35-34--69
Prom Meesawat, Thailand 35-34--69
David Oh, United States 34-35--69
Adam Blyth, Australia 34-35--69
Ari Savolainen, Finland 34-35--69
Ron Won, United States 36-33--69
a-Lee Won-joon, South Korea 34-35--69
Lu Wei-chih, Taiwan 34-35--69
Rowan Beste, Australia 37-32--69
Lee Seung-man, South Korea 35-34--69
Terry Pilkadaris, Australia 37-32--69
Kim Hyung-tae, South Korea 33-36--69
Kang Kyung-nam, South Korea 35-34--69
Garth Mulroy, South Africa 35-34--69
a-Kim Kyung-tae, South Korea 33-36--69
Also
Michelle Wie, United States 35-35--70

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