Wie Wins First Match at Womens Am


USGAERIE, Pa. -- Michelle Wie advanced to the second round of match play at the U. S. Women's Amateur, beating Angela Park of Torrance, Calif., 1-up Wednesday.
'The long game is important, but I had trouble keeping it in the fairway,' the 14-year-old Wie said. 'What won for me today was I made some really great up and downs.
'The short game was the difference. Only three words can describe today: nerves of steel.'
Wie struggled off the tee in stroke play and tied for 39th among the 64 players who qualified for match play at The Kahkwa Club.
Wie, who lost in the first round of last year's event, held a 3-up lead with three holes left before Park birdied Nos. 16 and 17.
At the 18th, Park hit her approach between two trees left of the green. Despite a tricky stance, Park's chip was on line and caught part of the cup.
'My heart fell all the way to my toes when that happened,' Wie said.
But Park's ball nearly rolled off the green, and she went on to make bogey.
Wie's approach landed in a bunker behind the green, and she also went on to make a bogey, halving the hole and winning the match.
'I had to make seven birdies to stay alive out there today,' Wie said. 'Angela played really well and I definitely played better than I had the first two days.'
Wie will face In-Bee Park of Henderson, Nev., in a second-round match Thursday.
In-Bee Park reached the semifinals of last year's championship before losing to eventual champion Virada Nirapathpongporn 3-and-1.
In other matches, medalist Amie Cochran of Torrance, Calif., lost 1-up to Hsiao-Ching Lu, of Taipei, China. Lu survived an 11-player playoff to qualify for the last match play berth, winning with a birdie on the second hole.
'I talked to my coach back in China last night and he told me I had two things to accomplish today,' the 16-year-old Lu said through an interpreter. 'Win the playoff and beat the medalist.'
Two rounds of match play will be held Thursday.
Related Link:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Amateur
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Amateur
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