Wie Blown Away at Sony

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2006 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- Michelle Wie's first PGA Tour event as a professional was one she'd soon like to forget.
 
The 16-year-old posted a 9-over-par 79 on Thursday and is one stroke from last place after the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
 
Chris Couch and Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie has her ball examined by playing competitor Chris Couch for scuff marks.
'It was just a combination of bad shots that turned out to be really bad,' admitted Wie, who competed this week under a sponsor's exemption. 'It was so darned hard out there with the wind and everything.'
 
Waialae Country Club was hit with swirling wind on Thursday, much like the conditions during last week's Mercedes Championships at Kapalua.
 
South Africa's Rory Sabbatini fired a 5-under-par 65 and is in the lead. David Toms, a few months removed from heart surgery, Charles Warren, Jeff Gove and K.J. Choi are knotted in second place at minus-4.
 
Wie, playing in this event for the third straight year, started off fine with a pair of pars, but things fell apart on 12, her third hole of the round. She missed a short par putt, then failed to reach the green with her third shot at the par-4 13th. That led to a double bogey, which would be a common occurrence on Wie's first nine.
 
At the 15th, Wie went from bunker to bunker and walked off with another double bogey. Two holes later, Wie landed in another trap and blasted out to 25 feet. She wanted to take the ball out of play because of a deep crack, but was denied. Wie missed her par putt, then her 4-footer for bogey stayed above ground.
 
Wie bogeyed No. 1, but collected her first birdie at the par-4 third. She rolled in a 16-footer, but bogeyed six and eight to match her highest round in a men's event.
 
'It was not my day,' admitted Wie, who also carded a 79 at the Bay Mills Open on the Canadian Tour. 'I made one birdie. That was a pretty good hole. I don't feel like I lost it out there. Shoot 61 tomorrow and I might make the cut. You never know.'
 
Sabbatini bogeyed his second hole when his drive went through the fairway into a bunker. He atoned for the mistake with back-to-back birdies from the third, but a three-putt bogey from 30 feet at the fifth dropped him back to even par.
 
The South African tallied only one additional birdie on the front side. His second at the par-5 ninth sailed over the green, but he chipped to 8 feet and converted the putt.
 
Sabbatini caught fire on the back nine, starting at 12. He hit a 9-iron to 18 feet to set up birdie at that hole, then made it two in a row with a 15-footer. Sabbatini recorded his third consecutive birdie at 14 when he rolled in a 45-footer.
 
Trouble loomed for Sabbatini at the 15th. He hit the fairway with his tee shot, but an errant 7-iron came up short in the fringe on the right. Sabbatini chipped to 6 feet, but missed the par save.
 
Sabbatini's closing stretch gave him sole possession of the lead. At the 16th, Sabbatini hit a 9-iron to 12 feet and made the birdie putt. He missed the fairway with his drive at the par-5 closing hole, but managed to get an 8-iron to the back of the green. Sabbatini two-putted for a birdie and the lead.
 
'The course is playing very tough out there,' said Sabbatini. 'I hit the ball pretty well. I only missed four greens, which is a pretty good start out there. Other than that, I actually made a lot of good putts. I can't complain.'
 
Jim Furyk, Chad Campbell, Jeff Sluman, Peter Lonard, Bubba Watson, James Driscoll and Vaughn Taylor are knotted in sixth place at 3-under-par 67.
 
Defending champion Vijay Singh, who lost a playoff to Stuart Appleby last week at the Mercedes Championships, shot a 1-over-par 71 and is part of a group tied for 49th place.
 
Related Links:
  • Wie's Scorecard
  • Leaderboard - Sony Open in Hawaii
  • Full Coverage - Sony Open in Hawaii