Wie Finishes Hawaiian Mens Event Under Par
Last year, Wie finished with an 8-over 224 and tied for 43rd. In 2002, she missed the cut by three strokes in her first tournament against men.
'I improved from last year,' Wie said. 'I hope I can just reach another level next year.'
She's certainly has proved she belongs.
Two years ago at the tournament, Wie played against the men with little fanfare. This year, as a seasoned 14-year-old, she was mobbed by autograph seekers and played in front of the tournament's only gallery.
I guess it's a little different because all the guys, they know I was going to play out here,' she said. 'When I was 12, they didn't really know. It was like, 'What are you doing out here?''
'I don't really remember when I was 12. A lot has happened since then.'
The ninth-grader from Honolulu began the day at 2-under 142, tied for 35th along with five others at the $80,000 event, one of the top men's golf tournaments in the state.
The field included 62 U.S. pros and 70 pros from the Japanese tour. Two-time champion Kiyoshi Murota, 10th last year on the Japanese tour money list, was the early leader.
'My goal this tournament was to win it, but after the first day, I didn't really have that much of a chance so I just went for top 10 or low amateur,' Wie said.
She dazzled the crowd Sunday with her booming drives, but struggled with her short game. Her roller-coaster round included four birdies and four bogeys.
Conditions at the 6,787-yard Pearl Country Club were calm and balmy.
Her first shot of the day was a 320-yard drive on the 559-yard No. 1 that helped set up her 8-foot birdie putt, which she holed. She just missed a 15-foot eagle putt and ended with another birdie on the par-4 fifth.
Like her birdies, her bogeys were scattered throughout the round. She bogeyed the uphill 194-yard No. 13 three days in a row.
Wie said she needs to concentrate on her accuracy and short game.
'This week my short game was a little shaky,' she said. 'I think if I get those two things more consistent, I'll be able to play better.'
The Hawaii Pearl Open is the second tournament of the year for Wie. Last month, she became the youngest player on the PGA Tour at the Sony Open, where she shot 68 in the second round and missed the cut by one shot.
Her performance led to invitations to play in seven other PGA Tour events. Wie said she's still undecided whether she'll accept any of them.
'I don't think we're playing in them,' she said. 'I'm not sure.'
Wie played seven times on the LPGA Tour last year, missing the cut just once. She missed the cut on the men's Canadian and Nationwide tours, and her only victory in any event came at the Women's Public Links, where she became the youngest winner of a USGA event for adults.
She will return to competing against the women next month at the Safeway International, one of the strongest fields on the LPGA Tour, followed by the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first LPGA major of the year.
Wie said she's looking forward to the change.
'The courses are shorter, obviously, but the rough is slightly less long,' she said. 'But it's both the same. A tournament is a tournament. It doesn't matter who you play against. You're playing against the course.'
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Glover (64) leads Web.com Tour Championship
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover shot his second consecutive 7-under 64 on Friday to take a one-shot lead at the Web.com Tour Championship.
The 38-year-old Glover, who won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, can still regain his PGA Tour card through a medical extension if he fails to earn enough money in the four-tournament Web.com Tour Finals. But a high finish this weekend at Atlantic Beach Country Club would take care of everything.
''I've got a lot to fall back on regardless of this week, but any time I tee it up, I want to play well,'' Glover said. ''Tomorrow won't be any different. Sunday won't be any different.''
Glover had arthroscopic knee surgery in June and will have eight starts to earn 53 FedEx Cup points and keep his card. He earned $17,212 in the first three Web.com Tour Finals events. The top 25 money winners in the series earn PGA Tour cards, and the final card went for $40,625 last year.
Glover was at 14-under 128. Denny McCarthy, who has already earned enough money to secure a return to the PGA Tour, was one shot back. McCarthy, a former Virginia player, has a shot at winning the Finals money list, which would guarantee him fully exempt status and entry into The Players Championship.
''There's no secret about it. I'll come out and tell you I'm here to win this tournament and get that No. 1 spot,'' McCarthy said. ''I've been hungry for a while. I have a pretty hungry attitude and I'm going to stay hungry.''
Tour veteran Cameron Tringale, who has earned just $2,660 after missing two of the first three cuts, was 12 under after a 67. Last year, Tringale entered the Web.com Tour Championship at 63rd on the Finals money list and finished tied for fifth to get back onto the PGA Tour. He struggled again this season, though, missing 19 cuts in 26 starts.
''Yeah, I was hoping last year was my last time here, but I do have a comfort at this golf course and I'm excited to keep pressing,'' Tringale said.
The four-tournament series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top 25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals.
Sepp Straka and Ben Silverman were three shots back. Each would likely need a top-5 finish to earn his card.
Peter Malnati, who regained his card with a second-place finish in the opening finals event, followed his opening-round 74 with a 9-under 62, shooting an 8-under 27 on his second nine.
Four-time PGA Tour winner Aaron Baddeley was among those who missed the cut. He was 22nd on the finals money list going in and likely will fall short of earning his card.
Thomas (69) only three back with 'C' or 'D' game
ATLANTA – Justin Thomas was tied for fourth place following his second-round 69 on Friday at the Tour Championship, which considering the state of his game on Day 2 was an accomplishment.
“I wish I had my 'B' game today. I would say I had my 'C' or 'D' game today,” he laughed.
Thomas’ struggles were primarily with his driver and he hit just 6 of 14 fairways at East Lake, but he was able to scramble late in his round with birdies at Nos. 15 and 18 to remain three off the lead.
“I drove it so poorly today, this is probably in my top 5 rounds of the year I'm most proud of just because I easily could have shot 4- or 5-over par today and not had a chance to win the tournament,” he said. “I hung in there and birdied two of the last four, and I have a chance.”
Thomas was slowed the last two weeks by a right wrist injury that limited his preparation for the finale and said the issue with his driver is timing and the byproduct of a lack of practice.
Thomas made up for his erratic driving with his short game, getting up and down four out of seven times including on the fourth hole when he missed the fairway well left, punched out short of the green and chipped in from 81 feet.
“[Rory McIlroy] just kind of said it looked like a ‘3’ the whole day and I kind of laughed because I played with him at The Players and I chipped in three times that first round with him, so I guess he's good luck for me,” Thomas said.
McIlroy two behind Woods, Rose after 68
ATLANTA – Maybe it should be no huge surprise that Rory McIlroy finds himself back in contention at the Tour Championship. It is, after all, a Ryder Cup year.
In 2016, McIlroy won the finale before heading to Hazeltine and posting a 3-2-0 record. In ’14, he finished runner-up to Billy Horschel and went 2-1-2 at the Ryder Cup; and in ’12 he finished tied for 10th place at East Lake and went 3-2-0 at Medinah.
“I was on such a high a couple of years ago going into Hazeltine after winning the whole thing, and I felt great about my game that week and played well. I won three matches,” McIlroy said. “I guess it doesn't matter whether it's a match play event or whatever. If you're playing well and you've played well the week before, I think most people can carry it into the next week, whatever that is.”
McIlroy’s performance this week certainly qualifies as “playing well.” He charged out on Friday with birdies at two of his first three holes and bounced back from a pair of late bogeys to shoot a 68 and was in third place and two strokes off the lead held by Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.
“I've made 12 birdies in 36 holes, which is really good around here, and that's with not birdieing either of the par 5s today,” he said. “So yeah, just tidy up the mistakes a little bit.”
Rose thinking about more than Tiger pairing
ATLANTA – Justin Rose is again in position to win a playoff event. Now, he wants more than just a consolation prize.
Rose finished runner-up to Bryson DeChambeau at the Dell Technologies Championship. DeChambeau was in control of that event, so Rose figured he did well to win “the other tournament.”
Two weeks ago, in the most recent playoff event at the BMW Championship, Rose lost to Keegan Bradley in sudden death. He was consoled with the world No. 1 ranking.
A similar scenario could play out this week, with Rose not winning the event but capturing the overall FedExCup title and claiming its $10 million bonus.
Rose, however, is not thinking about what scenarios need to play out in order for that to happen. His focus is singular.
“I'm in a position where I want to win this golf tournament and I can keep it as simple as that,” he said. “I know that if I do that, it's gravy all the way.”
Rose is tied for the Tour Championship lead alongside Tiger Woods. This will be the fourth time the two have played side-by-side this year, doing so in the first two rounds of the Memorial and in Rd. 3 at Bay Hill.
Rose bettered Woods on all three occasions.
“Yeah, that is cool,” Rose said of being paired again with Woods, but added, “There's more on my mind than just playing with Tiger tomorrow, for sure.”