Wie moves into lead by one stroke Tiger misses Quail Hollow cut by a lot
By STEPHEN WADE
MORELIA, Mexico — Michelle Wie held her game together with the wind howling through the mountainside ravines at the Tres Marias Championship, shooting a 5-under-par 68 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead.
Wie is at 12-under 134 with Brittany Lincicome (67) and Japan's Ai Miyazato (72) tied at 135.
But the gusts and the emotional ups-and-downs got to Lorena Ochoa, who fell five strokes off the pace with a 73 in her farewell tournament.
This is the last event for the top-ranked Ochoa, under some pressure to deliver a victory for her adoring fans in Mexico — she has won the event three times — before stepping away.
"I'll take it I guess with these conditions," Ochoa said. "With all the emotions I am going through and the adrenaline it's been a little bit tough."
Wie, a Punahou alum and current Stanford student, beat the wind, and seems to love playing in Mexico where she won her first LPGA event 5 1/2 months ago in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara — Ochoa's hometown.
"It's fun over here," Wie said. "It's a good attitude over here; relaxed, great weather, great people and hopefully I can keep it going."
It could have been even better for Wie, who pulled off a spectacular birdie on the 541-yard par-5 16th, but stumbled with two bogeys at Tres Marias Golf Club, which is 6,500 feet above sea level.
She hit a booming drive downwind on 16 — father B.J. Wie estimated it at 380 yards — but hit an 8-iron approach from 165 yards over the green into loose gravel. She chipped out, but knocked it across the green into a bunker. She then holed out from 70 feet, lifting both arms skyward to celebrate the shot.
"Holing out the bunker shot was kind of funny," said Wie, breaking into a smile.
Ochoa tried to force a few laughs, but it wasn't easy — even for a player recognized as one of the most likable and humble on the LPGA Tour.
"I try not to think (about the retirement), but of course it is in my head," said Ochoa, who has 27 career victories — including two majors — and has held the No. 1 ranking for three years.
"Today when I was struggling a little bit more, I was more frustrated than usual. But you try to smile."
Lincicome had a hole-in-one on the par-3 13th, using a pitching wedge to hole the 125-yard shot. It was her first on the LPGA Tour.