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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, July 24, 2005

Wie finishes second

Associated Press

Michelle Wie closed with a 4-under 68 yesterday, climbing from a ninth-place tie to a second-place tie in the Evian Masters in France.

patrick gardin | Associated Press


EVIAN, France — Paula Creamer won her second LPGA title yesterday at the Evian Masters, beating fellow teenager Michelle Wie and Lorena Ochoa by eight shots.

The 18-year-old Creamer shot a 1-under 71 to finish at 15-under 273. Wie, a 15-year-old amateur from Honolulu, shot a 68 and Ochoa a 69 to tie for second at the $2.5 million event.

The $375,000 prize boosted Creamer to second on the LPGA money list behind Annika Sorenstam, who finished 12 strokes back with a 75.

Canada's Lorie Kane (71) finished fourth in the select 78-woman field.

Creamer, who won the Sybase Classic two months ago, shot rounds of 68-68-66 to take a seven-shot lead entering the final round and cruised to victory.

"I've just had a great week," Creamer said. "Just the strength of this field and the Evian ensemble makes it huge for me to win here."

Wie, who started the day in a three-way tie for ninth, had five birdies and one bogey in her solid 68.

"It was a good day in some ways, and frustrating in others," she said. "I didn't give myself as many chances as yesterday, but I still made a lot of birdie putts."

The first one came on No. 1, after she hit a sand wedge to 6 feet.

Wie, who bogeyed No. 6 after her pulled drive hit a tree and forced her to chip out to the fairway on the 381-yard par-4 hole, then made birdie putts of 9 feet on No. 9, 10 feet on No. 12, 15 feet on No. 13, and 3 feet on No. 18.

Still, she couldn't help forget the putts that wouldn't drop the first two days, when she shot 75-70.

"I just left so many shots out there. I couldn't count how many putts I missed," Wie said. "I came back yesterday (68) and today and I felt like I improved over those so it went pretty well."

When asked about the budding rivalries among the teens, including Morgan Pressel, both Wie and Creamer responded diplomatically.

"I don't really see it as a rivalry," Wie said. "Obviously, Paula played really well today, Morgan played really well at the U.S. Open, but we're just playing our own game."

Creamer also downplayed any teen rivalry, saying Sorenstam is really the player to beat.

"We're all just trying to find our games and play our best golf," she said. "I compare myself to the No. 1 player in the world, which is Annika Sorenstam, and I'm not quite there yet."

Sorenstam, though, struggled yesterday — finishing with a double bogey and five bogeys to offset four birdies.

"It's been a tough week for me," she said. "I fought to the end, but nothing worked out as I planned. Particularly my play around the greens. My caddie is as confused as me."

Next up for Wie and the LPGA Tour is the Weetabix Women's British Open, which begins Thursday at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport Merseyside, England.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Wie said. "I haven't played on a links course since I played in the Curtis Cup (June of '04). I loved it when I played it and I'm really excited. I've had enough of pot bunkers, though."

The LPGA Web site contributed to this report.