Wie last in Samsung with 79
|||Special report: Michelle Wie|
|||Special report: Tadd Fujikawa|
PALM DESERT, Calif. — Paula Creamer and Angela Park shot 5-under 67s to share the first-round lead in the Samsung World Championship, while Michelle Wie, who turned 18 yesterday, was last in the 20-player field after a 79.
"It was a really tough day for me," said Wie, a Punahou School alum from Hawai'i who is now a freshman at Stanford. "I just couldn't get anything going. What really was the pinnacle of the day: I hit a really good wedge shot and it hit the pin and came back 30 feet. It was just that kind of day."
Asked what she was doing for her birthday, Wie, who is three shots behind 19th-place Bettina Huart, said, "Go home and study. Basically, I have a lot of stuff to do. I have to read a book, so it should be an exciting birthday."
Besides sharing the lead, the two front-runners have something else in common — the 21-year-old Creamer was the LPGA Tour's Rookie of the Year in 2005 and the 19-year-old Park already has clinched the honor this year.
Park, who was born in Brazil and moved with her parents to Los Angeles when she was 8, said she was nervous but thrilled to be in the tournament.
"I don't know how to describe the feeling, coming out here," she said. "Obviously, being one of the top 20, elite members of women's golf, is a very priceless experience. And especially to be the only rookie out here gives me great pride and gives me a lot of confidence."
World's No. 1 Lorena Ochoa led most of the first round, but a double bogey on the final hole dropped her into a three-way tie with Morgan Pressel and Mi Hyun Kim at 68.
MAY'S 63 LEADS IN VEGAS; FUJIKAWA OPENS WITH 74
Practically playing in his backyard on a picture-perfect day in the desert, Bob May shot a 9-under 63 at TPC Summerlin yesterday to top the leaderboard in the Frys.com Open in Las Vegas, while 16-year-old Tadd Fujikawa of Honolulu opened with a 74.
"I made a few bad swings that cost me a few strokes and made too many bogeys. But other than that, I played pretty well today," said Fujikawa, a Moanalua High junior playing his fifth tournament since turning pro in July. "I'm really learning a lot out here. It's definitely improving."
Jason Gore finished with an 8-under 63 on the nearby par-71 TPC The Canyons.
May, who lives in Las Vegas, is using a belly putter for the second straight week after spending a couple of months practicing with it. He was finally persuaded by family and friends to try it out in competition, calling it a "radical change."
"I have been hitting the ball well but haven't been scoring," said May, noting that his improved putting is making a difference. "It's nice to finally get a good round under my belt. Who knows what could happen this week."
Gore will play the Summerlin course today and May at Canyons. The final two rounds will be at Summerlin.
Defending champion and top-seeded Paul Casey and six-time winner Ernie Els reached the second round of the World Match Play Championship with victories yesterday at Virginia Water, England. ... Argentina's Daniel Vancsik shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over after the first round of the Madrid Open at Madrid, Spain.