Wie tries new approach, shoots 74

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PITTSFORD, NY - JUNE 07: Michelle Wie walks with her caddie Brendan Woolley during the first round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club on June 7, 2012 in Pittsford, New York. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Michelle Wie decided this week would be a fresh start.

She would take a new, freewheeling approach with her swing to start the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

“I think all week I have just been having fun with it and not really giving a damn, just hitting the ball like I used to,” Wie said with a good-spirited laugh after opening with a 2-over-par 74.

Golf hasn't been been kind to Wie since she graduated from Stanford this spring. She has missed five consecutive cuts heading to the LPGA Championship, one of them at a Japanese LPGA event. She was so down after missing the cut at the ShopRite last week, she tweeted: “I think I have shed more tears this year, than I ever have my entire life combined. Time to put on my big girl pants.”

Wie fans will be happy to hear she’s back in better spirits, her chin up in a determined bid to bring the joy back to her game.

“Sometimes, you have to admit you’re frustrated, you can’t say you are not,” Wie said. “I felt a little better saying it, and it’s a new start for me.”

Wie’s prep on the range early Thursday morning wasn't what she had in mind as a fresh start.

Fifteen minutes before her tee time, she cracked the face of her 3-wood.

“It was like, `Oh my God,’” Wie said. “I don’t have a backup 3-wood.”

And the 3-wood was a large part of her game plan for Locust Hill Country Club's narrow fairways. Though her team told GolfChannel.com early in the round that she scrambled to replace it with a hybrid 2-iron, Wie said she couldn’t find any suitable replacement. She played with 13 clubs. The hybrid 2-iron was already in her bag.

Wie said the lack of 3-wood hurt her most on the par 5s, where she didn’t have as much firepower to reach the greens in two.

“But I’m glad I didn’t let it get to me,” Wie said.

Wie bogeyed two of the first four holes but grinded hard, playing the rest of her round in even par.