Amazing Wie has sights fixed on bigger
Every Asian parent loves to have their child excel
Michelle Wie, seen blasting out of a greenside bunker
on the second hole during the first round, is thinking of making a run at the
Michelle Wie wants to do more than make history.
The 15-year-old shot one-under 70 at the John Deere
Classic, keeping her hopes alive of being the first woman in 60 years to make a
cut on the PGA Tour. She was on the right side of the line when she finished,
but the cut had moved to two under at the end of the day.
''I'm not really thinking about the cut,'' said Wie,
who is level for 73rd. ''I'm only five shots behind (the early leaders), and if
I put up three crazy rounds, who knows?''
``It's impressive at 15, that's for sure,'' said Scott
Gutschewski, one of Wie's playing partners. ``I don't know how many 15-year-olds
could come out here and do that, let alone a 15-year-old girl.''
It was Wei's second-lowest round in a PGA Tour event,
and she beat both her playing partners. She played her last 10 holes at three
under, had five drives over 290 yards and missed only one putt from inside 10
Incidentally, Hunter Mahan shot an eight-under 63 to
take the lead and JL Lewis is one stroke behind.
``She's going to beat a lot of guys today. She'll
probably beat a lot of guys tomorrow,'' said Gutschewski, who finished at even
Though Wie is still three months away from her 16th
birthday, she has already achieved Major-player status. She has been second
twice on the LPGA Tour this year, including a runner-up finish at the LPGA
Championship, and had a share of the third-round lead at the US Women's Open.
She also has that same megastar appeal Tiger Woods had
when he was a teenager. A couple hundred people were waiting for her at the
first hole, and that number grew to 2,000 by the time she made the turn. By the
end of the round, there were 5,000 people on the 18th.
Just as when Woods plays, fans were on the move as
soon as she hit or putted, regardless of what Gutschewski was doing. Her every
shot was cheered, and more than a few people were heard saying, ``And she's only
``On the surface, it was a very well-played round.
Then you realize she's a 15-year-old girl, and it's mind-boggling,'' said Nick
Watney, who shot four-over 75. ``She's a phenom. When I was 15, I sure didn't
look like that.''
Wie might have been showing some of her age early,
when she fell to two over with back-to-back bogeys on the fifth and sixth.
``If I had made those two bogeys in a row (last year),
it would have been kind of tough because I was really young,'' Wie said, drawing
laughter. ``I'm pretty young now, but I've gotten a lot older and more mature. I
have a lot more experience. I know what to expect.''
She finally righted herself on number nine and made a
12-footer on the 11th hole to get back to even-par.
Her birdie on the 17th easily could have been an
With about 260 yards to the green on her second shot,
Wie hit a three-wood to within 10 feet. But her eagle putt broke too far right,
leaving her three feet from the hole.
``I was kind of disappointed on that hole,'' Wie said.
``I felt like I should have made an eagle there.'' - by
Nancy Armour REUTERS ASSOCIATED PRESS 9