Wie Impressive in PGA Tour Debut

By Sports NetworkJanuary 15, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- Carlos Franco fired a 7-under 63 on Thursday to take a two-shot lead at the Sony Open in Hawaii on a day that was highlighted by Michelle Wie's history-making debut on the PGA Tour.
Jesper Parnevik finished alone in second place at 5-under-par 65. Aaron Baddeley, who lost this event in a playoff to Ernie Els last year, was one shot further back at 4-under-par 66 along with Craig Barlow, Ted Purdy, David Ishii, Stephen Ames and Luke Donald.
Wie, who has made plenty of history throughout her young career as an amateur, had failed to qualify for the event at Waialae Country Club on two previous occasions, but got her chance to play alongside the men of the PGA Tour after she received an invitation and a sponsor's exemption to the 2004 edition of the tournament.
'It was wonderful,' said Wie, who became the youngest woman to ever compete alongside the men of the PGA Tour. 'There were so many people out there today. They were really good, supporting me, and whenever I made a putt, they were just awesome.'
The hard-hitting ninth-grader played the back side first and split the fairway with her drive off the 10th tee en route to a par. At the par-4 12th, Wie dropped her approach inside 10 feet and drained the putt for her first birdie of the day.
Wie, who became the youngest player to ever win a USGA championship when she captured the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links title last year, found a greenside bunker with her second shot to the par-4 13th and bogeyed the hole. She found the sand again at the par-4 14th and could not get up and down to save par.
She had a five-footer for par at the par-4 first, but pushed the ball right of the hole. Wie knocked her tee shot into a greenside bunker at the par-3 fourth, but this time was able to save par after a solid shot from the sand.
Wie struggled on the green at the par-4 fifth and took three putts for a bogey. She responded at the very next hole, however, and drained a 16-foot putt for her second birdie of the day.
At the par-3 seventh, Wie had a tricky putt to save par but her ball lipped out of the hole.
Wie closed her round with a positive at the par-5 ninth after blasting her approach into a greenside bunker. She played her third shot out of the sand to 10 feet and ran home the putt for a respectable 2-over-par 72 showing in her first PGA Tour round.
'I think I was playing it more safe today,' said Wie. 'But if I make it to Saturday I'm going to go at every flag.'
Wie has already played alongside men twice before, once on the Nationwide Tour and once on the Canadian Tour, but now the young Hawaiian has followed in the footsteps of Annika Sorenstam and Suzy Whaley, both of whom have competed on the PGA Tour dating back to Sorenstam's historical appearance at the Colonial in May of 2003.
Franco hit his tee shot to 10 feet for a birdie at the par-3 seventh and ran home a 25-foot putt for an eagle at the par-5 ninth to make the turn at 3 under.
The 38-year-old, who has missed the cut in each of his last two appearances at this event, added birdies at the 11th and the 13th before knocking his tee ball inside two feet for a birdie at the par-3 17th.
Franco tapped in for birdie and two-putted for a birdie at the par-5 last to complete a career best round of 63 at the first full-field event of the 2004 season.
'When you play well, everything is good,' said Franco. 'When you play bad, very difficult to come back for your game.'
Parnevik collected five birdies and a bogey to finish two shots off the pace.
'I played very solid. I've been working really hard the last two months,' said Parnevik. 'You know, I have a clue where the golf ball is going for a change. I haven't really had a clue for the last two years. It's nice to be able to hit shots and trust it.'
Els, the defending champion, played the back side first and tallied two birdies over his first nine holes.
The South African stumbled with a bogey at the par-4 sixth but recovered with an eagle at the par-5 last to finish in a group at 3-under-par 67 that features former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Retief Goosen.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Sony Open in Hawaii
  • Full Coverage - Sony Open in Hawaii
  • Getty Images

    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

    Getty Images

    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

    Getty Images

    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

    Getty Images

    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.