LPGA Championship Notebook

Windy course puts hurt on Wie

Last in field at 14-over, teen says wrist injury may force withdrawal

June 10, 2007|By Patrick Gutierrez | Patrick Gutierrez,Sun reporter

In last place among the 84 players left in the field in the McDonald's LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock, Michelle Wie is scheduled to be in the first group out this morning for the final round.

Continuing to battle injuries to both her wrists, Wie said her status for today was up in the air when she left the course after shooting an 11-over-par 83 yesterday for a three-round total of 14-over 220. It was her worst round as a professional.

"We'll just have to see how it goes tonight [with the injury]," said Wie, whose left wrist was wrapped in ice when she emerged from the scorer's tent. "I really want to play. I think it would be awesome to get another round under my belt."

Wie began the third round with two consecutive pars but found trouble at the par-3 third hole. With the wind swirling, she sailed her tee shot over the green and was unable to locate her ball. She ended up making double bogey.

After a par on the par-4 fourth, Wie began a stretch in which she made bogey or worse on seven of the next nine holes. She steadied herself to make three straight pars before closing with back-to-back bogeys.

Wie, 17, refused to blame her wrist injuries completely, instead referring to other reasons for her poor performance.

"Obviously, it was a lot tougher today with the wind. I felt like all the holes were challenging in a good way," Wie said. "Unfortunately, I played from the rough a little bit more than I wanted to."

Her showing so far this week had Wie second-guessing her decision to come back so soon from her injuries.

"I think I was kind of blinded because I wanted to play so bad," Wie said. "Maybe I would've reconsidered if it wasn't a major, but I was really anxious to get out there."

Despite her poor outing, Wie had a sizable gallery, a fact not lost on the teenager. "I'm just so grateful that I actually had fans out there today," Wie said. "It was a really great feeling to hear them cheer for me even though I wasn't playing good."

Pak distracted

Defending champion Se Ri Pak said all the Hall of Fame attention she has received this week has not helped her game.

"It's been a little different," Pak said. "I'm used to just playing in a tournament. This week, there's been so many things going on. I was a little bit distracted."

The 29-year-old South Korean also struggled with the windy conditions yesterday, shooting a 2-over 74 for a three-round total of 1-over 217. "The wind was definitely a factor," Pak said. "The greens were firmer today than the first two rounds. I missed plenty of fairways."

Attendance figures

Yesterday's announced attendance was 26,900, bringing the three-day total to more than 62,000.

A tournament spokesman declined to say what percentage of that figure was from paid admissions as opposed to tickets distributed to sponsors and free admissions to select groups.

In the tournament's first two years at Bulle Rock, attendance for the four-day tournament has averaged about 93,000.

patrick.gutierrez@baltsun.com

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