Sun, Jan 16, 2005 - Page 23 News List

Wie in the wrong place at the wrong time in Honolulu

AP , HONOLULU

It's back to school for Michelle Wie.

The 15-year-old high school student never had a chance to make the cut Friday in the Sony Open, taking three putts from 8 feet for a triple bogey on her sixth hole and losing more ground from there. She shot a 4-over 74 to finish 17 shots behind Shigeki Maruyama, and seven shots below the cut line.

"I think I tried too hard," Wie said. "After missing the cut by one last year, I think I took for granted that I was going to play better. Last year, everything went too easily."

Most girls her age don't mind having a weekend off. Wie had grandiose plans.

She was trying to become the first female in 60 years to make the cut on the PGA Tour, and had high hopes after missing by one shot last year. If everything went perfect, she thought she could finish in the top 20.

Wie had to settle for a tie with European Ryder Cup player Paul Casey at 9-over 149. She wound up tied for 128th place, still better than 14 other men.

Her mother brushed dried streaks of tears from her cheeks, and a box of tissue was at her feet after two emotionally draining days on the PGA Tour.

"I'm going for some retail therapy," Wie said, a teenager's term for shopping.

Maruyama holed a bunker shot for eagle on the par-5 ninth for a 65, giving him a one-shot lead over Justin Rose and Brett Quigley going into a weekend at Waialae Country Club that will be missing its biggest star.

Another huge gallery had little reason to cheer.

Wie picked up her first birdie with an 8-foot putt on the 10th hole, but by then it was too late. There was no drama like last year, when she birdied two of her last three holes for a 68 to miss the cut by one shot.

Her lengthy stride gave way to slumped shoulders, and Wie stared at the turf after each shot missed the green.

The only consolation was her finish.

She hit a wedge into 10 feet and holed the putt for birdie, then walked off the 18th green with a rare smile.

ESPN, which stayed with her until the conclusion of her round last year, this time switched to an NBA game after Wie made her third bogey in four holes at the par-4 16th.

Wie goes back to the Punahou School, but not for long. She will return to professional ranks next month on the LPGA Tour for the SBS Open across the island at Turtle Bay, then play twice more on the LPGA before spring break.

Maruyama made it look easy, jumping into contention by playing a three-hole stretch around the turn in 4 under par -- an 8-iron to 3 feet on the eighth, holing the bunker shot for eagle on the par-5 ninth, and making a 20-foot birdie on the 10th. He held it together the rest of the way and was at 8-under 132.

Quigley (67) was tied for the lead until missing the green on No. 16 for a bogey. Rose holed out from a bunker on the brutal first hole for birdie.

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