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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, July 9, 2006

GOLF
Wie ousted from match play

By HANK GOLA
New York Daily News

Michelle Wie missed a putt on the seventh hole during her quarterfinal match with Brittany Lincicome in the LPGA Women's World Match Play Golf Championships.

TIM LARSEN | Associated Press

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Brittany Lincicome, who is second on the LPGA Tour in driving distance, went bomb for bomb against Michelle Wie in yesterday's match play quarterfinal. The result was a 4 and 3 victory for Lincicome.

TIM LARSEN | Associated Press

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Michelle Wie tracked her tee shot on the 9th hole during yesterday morning's third-round match against Se Ri Pak. Wie won, 2 and 1.

TIM LARSEN | Associated Press

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NEW YORK Not long after Brittany Lincicome had dusted Michelle Wie in the quarterfinals of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship, Paula Creamer's father, Paul, found Lincicome's father/caddie, Tom, gave him a hearty handshake and whispered something into his ear.

The two dads shared a laugh but not what was said between them.

One could imagine, however. Lincicome's convincing 4 and 3 win was a coup for the kids who came up through the junior circuit with less fanfare but a whole lot of talent.

"I didn't have the (David) Leadbetters (Wie's coach) and all the academies. I really couldn't afford them," said Lincicome, who will turn 21 in September. "It was always dad and I doing it ... doing the home-school thing and all the sacrifices."

Did that make beating Wie all the more special?

"Oh, it was huge," she said. "That was great."

It wasn't the only great upset yesterday at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J. Wie, the No. 2 seed, joined top seed Annika Sorenstam on the sidelines after the U.S. Open champ lost an early three-hole lead against 46-year-old toughie Juli Inkster. The No. 8 seed, Inkster ran in a four-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to win, 1-up. Inkster faces fifth-seeded Creamer in this morning's semifinal while Lincicome, the lowest seed left at No. 39, gets third-seeded Lorena Ochoa.

"She's a few years older than my daughter," Inkster said of Creamer. "So I'm going to make her take good care of me tomorrow and respect me all the way."

If Lincicome continues to play as she has done so far, it will be quite a match. She gave nothing away to Wie, outplaying her from tee to green and outputting her once she got there.

The 16-year-old Wie had used her length to her advantage in a 2 and 1 win over Se Ri Pak in yesterday morning's round of 16s. But Lincicome, No. 2 on the LPGA in driving distance at just over 280 yards, went bomb for bomb with the Punahou junior-to-be.

"Michelle should have known she was that long," Tom Lincicome said. "But I think she made her take a step back. The other girls ... she (Brittany) was ripping it right by them.

"She was just so cool and calm and collected. She's been that way all week," he added. "Her putter is on fire and she's firing right at pins."

Wie led only once in the match, after three holes. But Lincicome won Nos. 5 and 6 with birdies and extended the lead to four holes when Wie three-putted No. 13.

Wie, as is her custom, was left to explain another sub-par putting round.

"Well, yeah, I mean today a couple putts didn't go in," the teenager said. "I felt like I stroked the ball very well. You know, (the putts) just didn't go in. There's nothing I can do about that."

Sorenstam, meanwhile, may have just run out of gas on the back nine after all the golf she has played in the last seven days. She was 3-up on Inkster through four holes and 2-up through 11. But Inkster is such a seasoned match-play specialist that she never panicked. She birdied Nos. 14 and 15 with great iron shots in to pull even, then chipped in for another birdie on No. 16 to halve the hole. Finally, she took her only lead of the day on No. 18 after Sorenstam missed a six-foot birdie bid. "That's the thing with match play. It's all about momentum," Inkster said.

"I would say that's just typical Juli," Sorenstam said of Inkster's key chip-in. "I was so pleased with the shot I hit in there. I had six, seven feet on one of the tougher holes out there. I think everybody knows Juli is a great competitor. You know when you stand on the tee and play against Juli, it's going to be tough."

While Sorenstam heads for some rest, Wie heads to the John Deere Classic to take on the men again. Lincicome remains. Like Wie, she still seeks her first LPGA win.

"Like people have said out here, if you can't beat Annika, you don't have to go play another tour," Lincicome said when asked if she wanted to test her driving ability against the big boys. "So after I dominate this one, maybe I'll try it."

AROUND THE GREENS

Not much to say: Michelle Wie didn't speak to her opponents yesterday in the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.

"She's not much of a talker," Se Ri Pak said after her 2 and 1 loss in the third round. "Me, I was having fun with my caddie. She wasn't really talking at all. We were not having any conversation at all, but this is a match game. It was a little weird, but that's fine. She wanted to win."

Wie also gave Brittany Lincicome the silent treatment during her 4 and 3 loss in the quarterfinals.

"I would tell her 'Good shot' and she would say nothing in return," Lincicome said. "Maybe she was just focused. Maybe I was messing her up by trying to talk to her."

Like the old days: Paula Creamer beat fellow teenager Morgan Pressel, 3 and 1, in the third round before knocking off Karrie Webb in the afternoon.

The 19-year-old Creamer and 18-year-old Pressel played each other many times in match play in their junior careers.

"Morgan is Morgan. It's always fun playing against her," Creamer said. "It's just like the old days. Being professional doesn't change that."

Cashing in: Today's winner will receive $500,000 from the $2 million purse.

The runner-up will get $300,000, the third-place finisher $200,000 and the fourth-place finisher $150,000. The first-round losers got $5,000, the second-round losers $10,000, the third-round losers $25,000 and the quarterfinal losers $50,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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