`Frustrated' Wie finishes 21-over, worst of career

Teen `back at step one,' but says she will play at U.S. Open in 2 weeks

Lpga Championship

June 11, 2007|By Patrick Gutierrez and Don Markus | Patrick Gutierrez and Don Markus,Sun Reporters

Michelle Wie struggled again at the LPGA Championship yesterday, shooting a 7-over-par 79 and finishing in last place, 10 shots behind her nearest competitor.

With a four-round total of 21-over 309, her worst since she began playing competitively, Wie showed little resemblance to the golfer who last year finished in a tie for fifth.

"I was very frustrated with my round," said Wie, who wasn't even certain she was going to play yesterday because of problems with her left wrist. "I'm going through a hard time right now."

At the par-5 second hole, Wie's tee shot barely reached the fairway, traveling about 50 yards. She ended up making bogey there for the third time in four days.

On the par-4 fourth, Wie's drive ended up on the other side of the cart path in a stretch of tall grass well off the fairway. She tried to pitch out onto the fairway but hit it too strong and found the rough on the other side.

It was that kind of week for Wie, 17, who missed the fairway on 27 of 56 drives.

"Right now, I'm back at step one," Wie said. "That's what happens when you don't play for a long time."

Dealing with a major injury for the first time in her young career, Wie, who had three top-five finishes in majors last year, was uncertain when she might be ready to compete against the best again.

"We'll have to see about that," she said. "It might happen quicker than I think ... it might [not]. I'm not sure what's going to happen."

The U.S. Women's Open begins June 28 at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in North Carolina, and Wie said, "I'll definitely be there and [I'll] try to play better."

Judge and caddie

District Court of Maryland Judge Bruce Lamdin spent his vacation working as a fill-in caddie for LPGA pro Marisa Baena of Colombia.

The sometimes outspoken Lamdin was recommended to Baena by his friend and fellow caddie John Killeen, who carried for her last week but usually works for Beth Daniel.

Baena did not hesitate to use Lamdin.

"I knew he was a judge, but I also knew he won 22 times on tour [as a caddie]," said Baena, who finished in a tie for 69th place. "We had a good time out there."

Lamdin, 59, a Baltimore County judge who has been a professional caddie on and off since 1965, often uses his time away from work to get on the bag, saying it's a great way to travel and pay for his vacation.

He said he enjoyed working for Baena but continued to find one aspect of his second job particularly tough to adjust to. "Being a judge, you get the last word," Lamdin said. "Being a caddie, you don't."

Et cetera

Frank Quinn, the tournament's co-founder, said donations earmarked for the Ronald McDonald House Charities were $1 million, marking the third straight year that figure has dropped since coming to Bulle Rock. It is $400,000 less than last year and $600,000 less than 2005. It also represents about half of the average donated annually during the 18 years that McDonald's held an LPGA event in Wilmington, Del. One of the reasons the tournament was moved three years ago was to increase charitable donations. "We're definitely concerned that the numbers are going down, and we're hoping to figure out ways to get them to go back up," Quinn said. ... Yesterday's announced attendance was 29,822, bringing this year's tournament total to more than 92,000. That's a slight increase over last year but down from 96,000 in 2005, the first year the tournament was held at Bulle Rock.

patrick.gutierrez@baltsun.com don.markus@baltsun.com

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