Annika Wins Big Wie Disqualified

By Associated PressOctober 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Samsung World ChampionshipPALM DESERT, Calif. -- Michelle Wie's pro debut made her look like an amateur Sunday when she was disqualified for taking a bad drop from the bushes in the third round of the Samsung World Championship.
 
Talk about a rude welcome less than two weeks after turning pro.
 
First, Annika Sorenstam blew away the field to win by eight shots, even with a double bogey on the last hole.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie's drop at the 7th hole Saturday led to her disqualification.
Then, the 16-year-old Wie no sooner had signed for a 74 to finish fourth -- $53,126 -- that LPGA Tour officials took her out to the seventh hole to discuss a drop she took the day before.
 
Nearly two hours later, she was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Because Wie dropped the ball closer to the hole -- by 3 inches according to her, by about a foot according to the rules officials -- she should have added two strokes to her third-round 71.
 
``I learned a great lesson,'' Wie said, her voice choking with emotion. ``From now on, I'll call a rules official no matter where it is, whether its 3 inches or 100 yards. I respect that.''
 
Wie hit a 5-wood into a Gold Lantana bush Saturday and was barely able to find it. She told her playing partner, Grace Park, she was taking an unplayable lie, dropped away from the bush, then chipped to 15 feet and made the par. It was a critical par save, and Wie steadied herself to get within five shots of the lead.
 
Michael Bamberger, a reporter for Sports Illustrated, told tour officials Sunday afternoon that he was concerned about the drop. Rules officials Jim Haley and Robert O. Smith reviewed tape from NBC Sports before taking Wie and caddie Greg Johnston to the seventh green after the tournament ended Sunday.
 
``If I had to make the ruling based on the videotape, to me it was inconclusive,'' Smith said.
 
He had Johnston and Wie show him where the ball was in the bushes, then where they dropped. They paced it off, then used string to measure the distance and determined it to be slightly closer.
 
``The Rules of Golf are based on facts,'' Smith said. ``They had to tell us where it was. The fact was, the ball was closer to the hole by 12 to 15 inches.''
 
Wie took three unplayable lies during the tournament, all without the help of rules officials. She twice asked for help, including a favorable ruling from Haley on Friday when she asked for a free drop because of bees swarming in a desert bush on the 14th hole.
 
She took this drop with confidence, placing tees in the ground from where her ball was in the bush, and within two club lengths of that spot. Asked by Bamberger after the third round Saturday about her drop, Wie said she used ``the triangle thing to make sure that you're not closer.''
 
``I don't feel like I cheated,'' Wie said Sunday. ``I was honest out there. I did what I thought was right. I was pretty confident. If I did it again, I'd still do that. It looked right to me.''
 
Johnston, who has spent the last 12 years caddying for Juli Inkster, got into a heated discussion with Bamberger as Wie and her family left Bighorn in a steady rain.
 
Johnston was bothered that Bamberger, who was at the seventh green when Wie took the drop, waited a day before raising it with tour officials. Had she been notified Saturday before signing her card, she would not have been disqualified.
 
Bamberger said he paced it off after Wie, playing in the final group Saturday, finished the hole.
 
``I did it in crude way -- 'Let's see what she has to say.' I was hopeful she could convince me,'' in the Saturday interview, Bamberger said. ``I thought about it more and was just uncomfortable that I knew something. Integrity is at the heart of the game. I don't think she cheated. I think she was just hasty.''
 
Asked why he didn't bring it up before the third round ended, Bamberger said, ``That didn't occur to me. I was still in my reporter's mode. I wanted to talk to her first.''
 
Ultimately, Wie made quite a splash in her professional debut -- just not the way she intended. And she wound up stealing all the attention from Sorenstam, who turned in one of her most dominant performances of the year.
 
Sorenstam cares more about winning than sending emphatic statements, yet she managed to do both Sunday.
 
``It's obviously very satisfying,'' Sorenstam said. ``It's a big week for many reasons.''
 
Asked about those reasons, she talked about joining Mickey Wright as the only players to win the same tournament five times since the LPGA Tour began in 1950 and clinching the LPGA Tour money title.
 
But there was more.
 
``I want to play well when everyone is talking about someone else,'' she said. ``I'm very competitive.''
 
She started with a four-shot lead over Gloria Park, built her lead to nine shots at the turn and led by as many as 10 shots until hitting into the desert and making double bogey on the last hole for a 3-under 69.
 
Even that became a mess.
 
The LPGA Tour posted her score as 68 with a bogey on the last hole, and no one knew she made double bogey until her press conference. The volunteer keeping score didn't realize Sorenstam took a penalty shot for an unplayable lie, and while Sorenstam signed for the right score, it wasn't verified because the rules officials were busy with Wie.
 
Lost in the disqualification was Sorenstam's eighth victory of the year. She finished at 18-under 270 to finish eight shots ahead of 19-year-old rookie Paula Creamer, and earn $212,500, pushing her over $2 million for the fifth straight season. She also wrapped up her eighth LPGA Tour player of the year award.
 
Creamer, whose two victories this year include a seven-shot win in France, holed a wedge shot for eagle on the 12th hole and shot 70 to finish second.
 
``I know what it feels like now to be just crushed,'' Creamer said. ``Annika was probably just sending a statement to the world saying, 'I'm still here. I'm still the best player.'''
 
Related Links:
  • Hewitt: SI's Bamberger Did the Right Thing
  • Leaderboard - Samsung World Championship
  • Full Coverage - Samsung World Championship
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    Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

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    There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

    The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

    Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

    If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

    “The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

    The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

    Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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    Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

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    Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

    While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    1. Brooks Koepka

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    8. Webb Simpson

    ---

    9. Bryson DeChambeau

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    On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

    Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

    European Points

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    ---

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    ---

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    @jenamsims on Instagram

    Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

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    Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

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    The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



    The second is from Sunday night.



    And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

    Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

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    Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

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    Updated Official World Golf Ranking


    It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

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