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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 5, 2006

Wie makes first cut in men's tournament

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Michelle Wie and her caddie Greg Johnston come off the 18th green after Wie shot a 3-under-par 69 in the second round today.

LEE JIN-MAN | Associated Press

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Honolulu teenager Michelle Wie's breakthrough today came with a bonus she remains in contention for the title in the Asian Tour's SK Telecom Open in Incheon, South Korea.

Wie made her first cut in a professional men's tournament in her eighth try, making four birdies against just one bogey for a 3-under-par 69 in the second round and was 5-under 139 overall.

Prom Meesawat of Taiwan shot a second-round best 64 and Malaysia's Iain Steel a 66 to share the lead at 11-under 133. Jeev Milkha Singh, of India, and Seung Ho Lee of South Korea were one stroke back.

Wie was tied for 17th. A total of 150 players are in the tournament.

The cut was 1-under. The top 60 and ties advanced to the third round.

"It's just wonderful. Great. I feel really, really happy," Wie said. "Now I want to play well tomorrow. It's not over yet."

Wie birdied the first and fifth (par 4s), 10th (par 5) and 15 (par 4) at Sky 72 Golf Club. She bogeyed the par-3 16th hole.

"My putting was good," she said. "Yesterday was pretty good, but today was better. I was more confident today."

Singh shot 66 and Lee 67 today. First-round leader Adam Le Vesconte shot a 71 and was at 8 under.

Wie, a 16-year-old Punahou junior, is the second female to make a cut in a Korea men's tournament. In 2003, LPGA player Se Ri Pak finished tied for 10th at the KPGA Tour's SBS Pro-Golf Championships. Pak was 26.

Wie's first attempt at making a men's cut came as a 13-year-old in a Canadian Tour event in 2003.

She has come close previously, missing the cut by a shot in the 2005 Casio Open (Japan men's tour) and 2004 Sony Open in Hawai'i (PGA Tour).

Wie also missed a cut by two strokes at the 2005 John Deere Classic (PGA Tour).

The SK Telecom Open is a stop on the Asian Tour, not part of the more prestigious PGA Tour.

Both of Wie's parents were born in South Korea, and her visit has generated intense media coverage and large galleries following her on the course.

"I'm really happy to make the cut in Korea, and I had such big galleries," she said. "Plus I really love children and there were lots of young fans here today."

Wie reportedly was paid a $700,000 appearance fee. The tournament has a $600,000 purse.

She now will get a chance to earn more, playing in the final two rounds this weekend.

Annika Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour when she missed the cut at the 2003 Colonial, shooting rounds of 71 and 74. She has played in men's Skins games the last two years.

No woman has made the cut on the PGA Tour since Babe Zaharias at the 1945 Tucson Open.

www.koreapga.com and The Associated Press contributed to this report.