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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 21, 2010

Wie claims first match

Honolulu Advertiser Special: Golf page


Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Honolulu's Michelle Wie chips to the second hole in her match against Stacy Prammanasudh at the Sybase Match Play Championship. Wie won 2-up.

RICH SCHULTZ | Associated Press

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GLADSTONE, N.J. Michelle Wie smacked herself on the rear end after three-putting for her lone bogey in the first round of the Sybase Match Play Championship.

"I was angry," said Wie, a 2-up winner over Stacy Prammanasudh yesterday at Hamilton Farm. "I do that so that I get angry and forget about it and move on.

"I just said, 'It was a stupid error, a stupid mistake.' I get mad at myself for a little bit, so I don't take it to the next tee box and I'm completely over it."

It worked.

After falling behind with the bogey on the par-3 eighth, Wie birdied Nos. 10 and 11 to regain the lead. Prammanasudh birdied 15 to tie it, but Wie pulled ahead with a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th and won with a conceded birdie on 18.

"It was a fight. She played extremely well," Wie said. "It was one of those matches where you had to make birdie to win, so kind of with that mindset, I went out and grinded and just tried to make birdies."

Wie, the eighth seed from Honolulu, will face Hee Young Park, a 19-hole winner over Ji Young Oh, in the second round today.

Top-seeded Jiyai Shin and No. 2 Ai Miyazato also advanced, while 49-year-old Juli Inkster rallied to beat third-seeded Suzann Pettersen in 21 holes.

"If Suzann and I played 10 days in a row, she would probably beat me seven," said Inkster, a 31-time LPGA Tour winner in her Hall of Fame career.

In cloudless conditions after rain soaked the course Tuesday, Shin beat Kyeong Bae, 3 and 2, and Miyazato, the winner of three of the first six events of the season, topped Jeong Jang, 4 and 3. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their balls in the fairways.

On the 515-yard 18th, Wie laid up and hit a wedge shot to 8 feet. Prammanasudh hit her second shot into a bunker about 80 yards from the green, sent her third over the green and conceded after failing to reach the putting surface with her fourth shot.

"It's match play, you never know what is going to happen," Prammanasudh said. "I played my best. ... I hit great shots all day and unfortunately hit one bad one."

Playing in the last group of the day, Wie and Prammanasudh teed off a little over 30 minutes late because three of the first four matches went to extra holes.

They still got off to a fast start, with Wie holing out from 50 feet for the first of her seven birdies after Prammanasudh hit her second shot to 3 feet.

"She put it in 3 feet and that's the only thing I had," Wie said.

The third round and quarterfinals will be played tomorrow and the semifinals and final are set for Sunday, with the winner receiving $375,000 from the $1.5 million purse.

ELSEWHERE

PGA Tour: Jason Day birdied four of his first six holes on his way to a 4-under 66 for a share of the first-round lead when play was suspended yesterday at the Byron Nelson in Irving, Texas.

Threatening skies forced a delay of 3 hours, 44 minutes.

Joe Durant finished with an eagle and a birdie to match Day at 66. Steve Elkington, Hunter Mahan and Jarrod Lyle were still on the course with scores of 4-under.

European Tour: Danny Willett set a course record by shooting 6-under 65 in the BMW PGA Championship for a one-stroke lead over Richard Green at Wentworth, England.

Ross Fisher was among a group of four players who shot 67 at the par-71 West Course.

Nationwide Tour: Scott Brown shot a 9-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh, N.C.

Honolulu's Tadd Fujikawa is tied for 121st after a 73.

NCAA WOMEN

KIM FALLS TO 19TH

A third-round 74 dropped Hilo's Kimberly Kim into a tie for 19th going into today's final round of the 29th annual NCAA Women's Golf Championship in Wilmington, N.C.

Kim, a University of Denver freshman, qualified as an individual. Her three-day total is 2-over-par 218. Arizona State's Jennifer Johnson leads with 70207.

Punahou graduate Stephanie Kono, a UCLA sophomore, dropped into a share of 36th after firing a 75 for a 222 total. Her top-ranked Bruin team fell four spots and is now seventh at 302882.

Purdue, looking for its first NCAA golf title, overtook USC in the team standings and now leads by seven shots at 6-under 858.

New Mexico, with Leilehua graduate Britney Choy playing her final college event, is 16th. Choy (75224) stands 49th.