ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Michelle Wie always seems to bring some surprise to any run into contention.
Whether it’s unorthodox putting stances and pre-shot routines, or equipment, there’s typically some curiosity.
In the 8-under-par 64 she posted Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, it was her clubs.
Wie put an 11-wood in her bag at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship earlier this summer, and she added a 9-wood this week.
“The 11-wood replaces my 5-iron,” Wie said. “The 9-wood replaces my 4-hybrid.”
In relatively benign morning conditions, they helped Wie set the course record for women at Kingsbarns. She hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation.
Wie’s 64 was the third lowest score in the history of the Women’s British Open as a major. Only Mirim Lee’s 62 in the first round at Woburn last year and Minea Blomqvist’s 62 in the third round at Sunningdale in 2004 were lower. The Women’s British Open has been a major since 2001.
Wie said she recently showed off her eclectic clubs to World Golf Hall of Famer Meg Mallon, a fellow South Florida resident.
“I was like, 'You won't believe what's in my bag right now, I've got an 11-wood,'” Wie said. “She's like, 'Yeah, I won the U.S. Open with a 13-wood.'
“I think Callaway has done a great job of accommodating me. They had to look back into their archives to find me an 11-wood. But I have an Epic 9-wood and I think XR 11-wood. They've been great. I definitely had to cut [the 11-wood] down. I've never played such a high-lofted wood before, so they've done a great job of working with me and making it work.”
Why an 11-wood?
“It's a lot easier than hitting a blade 5-iron,” she said