Wie hits worst round of year as challenge gets lost in sand - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Wie hits worst round of year as challenge gets lost in sand

Michelle Wie embarked on her second year as a professional by matching her worst score of 2006, when she hit a 74 that included a quadruple-bogey eight in the first round of the Samsung World Championship here.

While Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa were tied for the lead at 67, Wie, who turned 17 on Wednesday, was struggling - nowhere more so than at the par-four 14th. Her ball was nestled against a rock the size of a baseball, with waist-high bushes all around. She took a free drop into the desert sand behind a small tree. That did not work. She tried again, advancing the ball into a thicket that left her no choice but to take a penalty drop.

If that was not enough, she had to hit her next shot off a cement cart path, just to get back to the fairway. "It was a really, really bad situation to be in," she said. "There was no bail-out."

Ochoa has four victories and five runner-up finishes this year, and she could all but secure the LPGA Tour player of the year title with victory here. Sorenstam is going for a record sixth victory in this tournament, and the 70th of her career. Wie is still trying to win her first title on the Tour, but despite her first-round tribulations she remains optimistic.

"My game is feeling really good," she said. "It's really close right now." And she did show a large measure of resilience. After a sloppy double-bogey on the 11th, she bounced back with an eagle on the par-five 12th by making a 60-foot putt from off the back of the green.

But her round came off the rails at the 14th. In hindsight, she would have been better off going back to the tee and hitting her third shot. At the time, she thought she could escape with her free drop into the desert sand. She did not realise that the wind was keeping branches out of her way; but the wind then died, and the branches were right back in front of her.

"I had to wait for the tree to blow back," she said. "[Then I thought] 'All right, the tree is out of my way, hit it!'"In her haste, she missed it all together.

Trailing Sorenstam and Ochoa by a shot were Lee Seon-Hwa, of South Korea, and the Swede Sophie Gustafson.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones