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Published: Monday, 7/6/2009

Improving Wie finishes strong

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Michelle Wie reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have given her a 63 Sunday.
Michelle Wie reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have given her a 63 Sunday.
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If Michelle Wie, who owns the most recognizable name on the LPGA Tour, wins the first tournament of her pro career in the near future, she can credit the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic with giving her a solid warm-up.

Wie, the 19-year-old who ended up tied for third after Sunday's final round of the Farr, shot a closing 64, 7-under par, and posted the day's best score. Wie played the final 27 holes of the tournament in 10-under par and closed the Farr with the lowest pro round of her career.

"I feel like I played really solidly here, and I feel like I'm playing extremely well right now," Wie said. "This week - it felt good. It felt like I was on the edge, on the brink of playing really well."

Wie, who played her first LPGA event in 2002 at age 12, was in second place, just three shots behind the leader and eventual tournament champion Eunjung Yi, when she finished her round. She lamented what might have been if she had not needed 33 putts to complete the third round and shot 70.

"When you play in tournaments is when you learn the most, and I took some more aggressive lines today, and it felt good to do it," said Wie, whose best finish on the tour has been second place. "If I had just made some putts Saturday, it might have been a different story."

Wie, who did not qualify to play in this week's U.S. Women's Open, said she plans to use the next two weeks to practice and continue to hone her game.

"I have to really buckle down from here because we still have half of the season left," she said. "I have to stop making bogeys, stop making mistakes, and be less of a streaky player. I just need to be more consistent - that's what I have to do better. I'll just keep the same feeling I had on those last nine or 10 holes."

Contact Matt Markey at:

mmarkey@theblade.com

or 419-724-6510.



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