Oh Deere Wie Misses Cut

By Associated PressJuly 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
SILVIS, Ill. -- One ill-timed three-putt. A stray tee shot. Just like that, Michelle Wie went from historic to just plain history.
 
On the brink of becoming the first woman in 60 years to make a cut on the PGA Tour, the 15-year-old was out after finding big trouble on two of her last four holes in the John Deere Classic. Her even-par 71 Friday left her at 1 under for the tournament, missing the cut by two strokes. She finished tied for 88th.
 
Crowd Following Michelle Wie
Thousands were on hand to watch Michelle Wie Friday.
``It was pretty killer,'' she said. ``Even though I finished below par, it still feels (bad) because I played so well the first nine and then I just totally messed up the back nine.''
 
Wie was trying to become the first woman since Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1945 to make a PGA Tour cut, and she was on track to do it with room to spare after making the turn at 4 under. But she came apart in stunning fashion, dropping three strokes on Nos. 6 and 7, and then missing a last-chance birdie putt on No. 8.
 
J.L. Lewis, the 1999 winner, followed his opening 64 with a 65 to take the lead at 13-under 129. Shigeki Maruyama (63) and Hunter Mahan (68) were second at 11 under.
 
But all the attention was on Wie, a ponytailed teenager from Honolulu.
 
``She missed two shots,'' tournament director Clair Peterson said. ``That's golf. It's risk-reward. She put herself out there and good for her. As Todd Hamilton said the other day, she's going to make a cut on the PGA Tour. If it wasn't today, someday.''
 
It looked as if it was going to be Friday until those last four holes.
 
Wie's troubles started on No. 6, when she put her first two shots in the bunker. She still had a chance for par, getting within 20 feet of the cup. But her first putt ran alongside the left edge and refused to drop, rolling about 5 feet by. She missed that one by inches, too, and had to take a double bogey, her first of the week.
 
``I guess I was too aggressive with my putt,'' she said. ``I hadn't made a bogey, and I didn't want to. It felt like a straightforward putt. If I'd hit it a little softer, it would have gone in.''
 
The double bogey dropped her to 2 under, with more trouble to come.
 
She pushed her tee shot on No. 7 so far right it bounced on the cart path. She got on the green from 35 yards out, but two-putted for another bogey, all but ending her chances for the weekend.
 
When her 14-foot birdie putt on No. 8 skirted the edge of the cup, the teenager from Hawaii sank to her knees. When she stood up, she looked skyward in disbelief.
 
``After those two holes, I was really just trying to make two birdies,'' she said, ``and my putts just kind of slid by the lip.''
 
No woman had made a PGA Tour cut since Zaharias at the 1945 Tucson Open, and it was another 58 years before another woman even tried. Annika Sorenstam teed it up at the 2003 Colonial, and Suzy Whaley played the Greater Hartford Open later that year. Neither made the cut.
 
Wie had played two other PGA Tour events, missing the cut at the 2004 Sony Open by a stroke. She fell short by seven strokes this year.
 
``On the LPGA Tour, I made the cut on my fourth try,'' she said. ``My fourth try is coming up, so I'm really looking forward to that.''
 
Wie doesn't have any other PGA Tour appearances set right now. She's playing in the men's U.S. Amateur Public Links next week at Shaker Run in Lebanon, Ohio.
 
``It was a great experience,'' said B.J. Wie, Michelle's father. ``I think it'll turn out to be good for Michelle. She'll be able to play practice rounds tomorrow and Sunday.''
 
A 1-under 70 in the first round put her a stroke over the projected cut, and Wie came out Friday looking determined to make up ground. She even wore a belt with a sparkly black ``68'' on the buckle, the number she wanted to shoot.
 
``I got it in France,'' she said. ``I thought it was a really cool number.''
 
She was on pace to get it with a quick start, making birdies on two of her first three holes, including a spectacular chip shot on the par-3 No. 12. Her tee shot sailed off to the left, and it bounced once before smacking spectator Gene Lebo on the right leg above the knee.
 
``It wasn't getting past me,'' joked Lebo, who was wearing, appropriately enough, a Hawaiian shirt. ``I played linebacker so I know how to keep the ball in the field.''
 
The ball dropped into the first row of the gallery about 40 feet from the green, but it would have been a lot farther had Lebo's leg not gotten in the way. Wie still had a tough shot, with her ball in deep grass.
 
But she chipped on, and when the ball rolled slowly into the hole, Wie thrust both of her arms triumphantly in the air before slapping hands with her caddie.
 
``If (Lebo) is reading the newspaper, I want to say, `Thank you,' and sorry for your pain,'' she said. ``It turned out great.''
 
She made the turn at 4 under after coming within 6 inches of the cup from 161 yards out on 18. The crowd of 10,000 greeted her with a standing ovation, and she acknowledged them with a couple of waves.
 
After tapping in for the birdie, a male fan yelled out, ``I love you Michelle!'' Wie turned and looked, laughing as she scanned the crowd.
 
But she wasn't laughing a few hours later, disappointed again.
 
``Definitely I'll care,'' she said. ``But I won't cry.''
 
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    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1

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    Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

    For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

    By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

    But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

    As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

    “This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

    Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

    As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

    After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

    “I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

    But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

    Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

    “I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

    There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

    Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

    And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

    As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

    “We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

    Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

    Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

    The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

    Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

    It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

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    Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

    One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

    McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

    McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

    “I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”