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Published: 7/4/2009

Double-bogey on last hole slows Wie's climb to top at Farr

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Michelle Wie was sizing up a piece of the lead at the midway point of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic when she stepped up to the 18th tee at Highland Meadows yesterday.

Wie was 10 strokes under par and just a shot behind the top spot in the tournament, and the par-5, 532-yard final hole stretched out in front of her was loaded with potential for the teen phenom.

Things unraveled when Wie knocked her third shot onto the fringe above the hole, then took three putts to finish after chipping on to the green. She missed from about three feet, and finished with a double-bogey seven.

"A lot of things that shouldn't have happened, happened on the last hole," Wie said. "I thought I had that [short] putt, but I just pushed it a little too far past the hole."

Wie, who opened with a 65 on Thursday that left her just one shot out of the first-day lead, finished bogey-birdie-birdie-double bogey yesterday for a 2-under par 69.

"I three-putted twice today, so I'm not happy about that, but I feel pretty good. I feel like I'm playing pretty solidly," Wie said. "I'm working on my putting, and hopefully I'll roll a lot more in tomorrow."

Wie shot 33 on the front nine yesterday, and after she birdied the first two holes on the back nine, the huge crowd that was following her and playing partners Natalie Gulbis and Jiyai Shin felt the momentum surging and got more animated as Wie moved within two shots of the lead.

"The crowd was great, for sure," Wie said. "It's great when the crowd supports you and you see all of these people out here."

Wie, who turned pro in 2005, tied her career best with a second-place finish in a tournament earlier this year.

She has played in eight events this season including the Farr, and made the cut each time, with three top-10 finishes. Wie insisted she would shake off the poor finish to yesterday's round.

"I didn't finish the way I wanted to, but I think that just gives me more ammunition for tomorrow," Wie said. "It's a good golf course and a good field, and it's exciting to be out here. I've just got to put myself in the best position."

Wie is in a five-way tie for seventh place, but just three shots back of the leaders heading into today's third round of the Farr.



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