Wie not impressive
After yet another errant shot, Michelle Wie groaned and tugged her baseball hat down over her eyes.
Nice try. There was no escaping the ugliness on her scorecard, though.
Trying for a fifth time to become the first woman since 1945 to make a cut in a PGA Tour event, the 16-year-old instead found trouble virtually everywhere she turned Thursday in the first round of the John Deere Classic. In the sand. In the water. In the weeds. And in the woods — several times.
“It was very uncharacteristic,” she said. “Considering that I had the water hazard penalties, considering that I had to call unplayable, considering that I hit my driver like 50 yards right, I felt like I played really well.
“… I have a lot of confidence going into tomorrow.”
She’ll need it.
With a 6-over 77, Wie was 13 strokes off the lead and appears headed for another early trip home. The low 70 and ties will make the cut after the second round Friday and 70 players were at 2 under or better, with three still on the course when play was suspended because of darkness. Wie was tied for 149th in the 153-player field, with only Bob May and Mike Springer behind her.
“I didn’t make the cut shooting 1 under on the first (day), so maybe shooting 6 over might do it,” said Wie, who missed the cut at last year’s Deere Classic despite shooting 1 under the first day.
J.P. Hayes, John Senden, Daniel Chopra and local favorite Zach Johnson were tied for the lead at 7-under 64. Joe Ogilvie and Kris Cox were one stroke back at 65. Six players, including one of Wie’s playing partners, Daisuke Maruyama, were at 66.
Jeff Gove, the third player in Wie’s group, was at 3-over 74. Defending champion Sean O’Hair was five shots off the lead after a 69.
This is Wie’s fifth visit to the PGA Tour, where she is trying to become the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to make the cut. And if ever there was a time the teen phenom was going to do it, this appeared to be it.
She missed the cut at last year’s Deere Classic by two strokes.
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