Wie Chasing History at USGA Girls Championship


FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer share the lead after the first round of stroke play at the 2003 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.
Wie, the 13-year-old phenom from Honolulu, Hawaii, and Creamer, of Pleasanton, California, each carded rounds of 2-under 69. The duo shares a one-stroke advantage over defending champion In-Bee Park, 15, of Eustis, Florida and Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff from Toms River, New Jersey.
'I think I should have played better,' Wie said. 'I easily could have shot 67 today.'
Wie tallied four birdies and two bogeys at the 6,303-yard, par-71 Brooklawn Country Club. She already won the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links and is attempting to become the first person to win both events in the same season.
With a large gallery in tow, Wie bombed her drives off the tee and hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation, but needed 30 putts to complete her round. Wie, who tied for 39th at the U.S. Women's Open at Pumpkin Ridge, made all four birdies from inside 12 feet, but missed a birdie chance from four feet on 16.
'I don't think of it as pressure because I'm the person who puts the pressure on myself,' Wie said. 'I go out there and try my best. If I play good I'm happy, but if I don't, I tried my hardest.'
Not to be forgotten is the defending champion Park, who registered three birdies along with a pair of bogeys to finish just one behind Wie.
'I just played my game,' said the Korean-born Park. 'I drove very well today, my irons were working, and I just made two-putts. I had no three-putts today.'
The classic, tree-lined layout at Brooklawn Country Club, which has now hosted four USGA championships, including the U.S. Women's Open in 1979, received high marks from the players.
'This course gives me a lot of confidence,' Park said. 'It's a very good course, and I really enjoyed it today.'
Another outstanding amateur who made the cut at the U.S. Women's Open, Morgan Pressel, carded a 1-over 72. The 15-year-old from Boca Raton, Florida finished 52nd at Pumpkin Ridge, which included an opening round of 70.
The U.S. Girls' Junior is open to female amateur golfers who have not reached their 18th birthday prior to the end of the championship and have a USGA Handicap Index of 18.4 or better.