There’s trouble in paradise.
Near the Hawaiian home where she grew up, on a course that was her playground as a junior, Michelle Wie shot a 4-over-par 76 Thursday at the LPGA Lotte Championship to miss her third consecutive cut. It’s just the second time she has missed three consecutive shots in her career, the first coming back in 2007, when she was trying to come back from a wrist injury.
In the Lotte Championship’s second round, Wie hit a pair of tee shots out of bounds and into a parking lot at No. 1, her 10th hole of the day, and made a quadruple-bogey 9. She opened the tournament with a 78.
The last time Wie played an LPGA event in Hawaii, she finished second at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay. She was 19. She finished third at the Fields Open at Ko Olina when she was 16 and tied for second at Turtle Bay when she was 15.
This season has already been a year of highs and lows for Wie. She graduated from Stanford three weeks ago with a degree in communications, a considerable achievement as she juggled her education with her golf career. On the course, though, Wie has slumped. In 14 rounds, she has broken par just once. Her scoring average is 75.64. She has posted rounds that include 81, 79, 79, 78, 77, 77, 76, 75 and 75.
Wie’s putting has been problematic for seasons – she ranks 128th in putts per GIR this year – but the troubles have seeped into her full swing. She ranks 115th in greens in regulation this season, 137th in driving accuracy. She would have hit a third tee shot OB in Thursday’s round if it hadn’t caromed off a golf cart. She’s also 44th on tour in driving distance (255 yards).