Wie Blown Away at Sony

By Sports NetworkJanuary 12, 2006, 5:00 pm
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
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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.


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    Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

    Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

    But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

    Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

    “It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

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    After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

    In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

    No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

    Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

    “I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

    Let it go.

    Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

    “I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

    It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

    During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

    Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

    “It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

    McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

    It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

    “I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

    The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

    Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

    The only thing left to do?

    Let it go.

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    Z. Johnson may have to pay for the jet home

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 1:23 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Zach Johnson will have some bragging rights when he gets back to the ultimate golf frat house on Friday after a second-round 67 moved him into the lead at The Open.

    Johnson is rooming with Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Kevin Kisner, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler this week at Carnoustie. It’s a tradition that began two years ago at Royal Troon.

    Kisner joked on Thursday after he took the first-round lead that the perks for the house/tournament front-runner were limited: “I probably get to eat first,” he said.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    There is, however, one running wager.

    “Two years ago we, I don't know if you call it bet, but agreement that, if you win, you get the jet and you buy it, so we go home,” said Johnson, who added that because of varying travel arrangements, the wager might not be needed this year. “I didn't pay last year. Somebody else did.”

    Spieth won last year’s championship at Royal Birkdale.

    Despite the expense, Johnson said he didn’t know how much it costs to charter a private flight back to the United States, but it’s a good problem to have.

    “I’d be happy to fork it over,” he smiled.