Michelle Wie’s brilliant run ended Friday with the assurance of a missed cut at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
A day after shooting a 3-over-par 75, her highest score this year, she put up an even higher score Friday, posting a 78. Her consolation comes knowing she can go home and hug the Harton S. Semple Trophy, which she took home as winner of the U.S. Women’s Open last month.
This will be Wie’s first missed cut this year, ending a run of 22 consecutive cuts made, a streak dating back to last August.
“It was just one of those weeks where I got started off on the wrong foot, just didn’t feel quite comfortable,” Wie told Golf Channel’s Tom Abbott after her round. “Stuff happens like that, golf is hard. I played well all year, I still feel good about my game. It doesn’t change how I look at my game, but it’s also kind of a good kick in the butt. I know what I need to improve.”
Wie’s woes were tied to her inability to find fairways at Royal Birkdale, which punished errant shots with deep, wispy rough. She made six bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies in Friday’s round.
“There are obviously some things I need to get better at,” Wie said. “The tee shots a little bit. My tempo got off this week. I need to find it again. Nothing was too off, it’s just nothing was quite right.”
Wie’s stinger, a sawed off swing that helps her hit low, controlled bullets, wasn’t the weapon it was expected to be off the tee boxes.
“It didn’t work,” ESPN analyst Dottie Pepper said during Friday’s telecast.
Pepper said she watched Wie use it in practice rounds while walking with fellow analyst Billy Kratzert and wondered if she was too reliant upon it.
“Our concern was that she was being too defensive,” Pepper said.
Wie has been gearing down her game for some time, preferring to club down and play for position rather than bomb drivers. Though she showed how long she still is, hitting drivers past Lexi Thompson at the U.S. Women’s Open, Wie has revived her game with conservative game plans, even with her long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, encouraging her to hit more drivers to take advantage of her power.
Hall of Famer Judy Rankin, also working for ESPN, said Wie’s still learning to win on different venues.
“If you are going to be a great player, you are going to have to play these courses where you have to hit it straight,” Rankin said.
Wie will get herself right back in action next week. She’s scheduled to play the Marathon Classic outside Toledo, Ohio.