Michelle Wie moved into contention with a career-best 7-under 65 at the Samsung World Championship Friday, pulling within two shots of second-round leader Grace Park, who overcame a four-putt double bogey to shoot 66 for her best round of the year.
Wie's day included a fortuitous ruling that gave her relief from a desert bush where a few dozen bees were hovering.
Park, who was at 11-under 133, will be paired with Wie in the final group today.
Annika Sorenstam bogeyed her final two holes for an even-par 71 and joined the group at 135 that included Wie and 19-year-old Paula Creamer.
Wie's tee shot on the par-4 15th lodged at the base of a Gold Lantana plant, and it appeared Wie would have to take a one-shot penalty for an unplayable lie. Instead, she recalled a tournament she watched on television when a player got relief because of fire ants, and summoned rules official Jim Haley.
"They're just honey bees," Haley said when he stooped to inspect the situation.
"I got bit by a honey bee once," Wie replied, then under her breath muttered, "My foot got all swollen."
Haley gave her a free drop under the "Decisions of Golf," which allows for relief when "it is unreasonable to expect the player to play from such a dangerous situation" such as a rattlesnake or bees' nest.
Wie blasted out of the lie where green grass met desert sand, onto the green and escaped with a par.
Sorenstam hit her tee shot into a desert bush on the 18th hole and got relief from a scoreboard between her and the flag. But with the ball above her feet, needing to play a right-to-left shot, Sorenstam wanted more room to drop her ball and was denied by the rules official.
"I don't know how many times you hit a straight shot in golf," she said.
Park, who has missed time on the tour this year to back and neck injuries, had six birdies on the back nine, chipping in on No. 12 and making birdies from inside 2 feet on the 16th and 17th holes.
"I kept telling myself it's never too late to start playing well," Park said. "I'm glad I'm turning it around."
Briny Baird had an "accidental" hole-in-one on his way to a 5-under 66 and a two-shot lead midway through the Michelin Championship.
Two courses, the par-72 TPC at Summerlin, and the par-71 TPC at The Canyons, were used the first two days. The final two rounds will be played at Summerlin.
Baird, one stroke in front beginning his day at The Canyons, was 15 under through two rounds.
Tour rookie Ryan Moore, the 2004 US college and US Amateur champion and 2005 college player of the year while attending the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, birdied six of his first nine holes at The Canyons and finished with an 8-under 63 that pulled him into a five-way tie for second.
US Masters and PGA champion Phil Mickelson failed to make the cut, which came at 6 under. He followed his opening 67 with a 71 to finish at 5-under 138.
Mickelson said coming into the Las Vegas event that he planned to use the tournament to work on some things in his game, and that it was hard to get motivated for regular tournaments after playing the majors.
In the group with Moore at 13 under were Kevin Stadler (66), Paul Goydos (65), Shigeki Maruyama (65), and Bart Bryant (65). Goydos and Maruyama played at Summerlin, the others at The Canyons.
Baird shook his head and smiled as he replayed his ace -- on what he thought was a poor shot -- on the 145-yard 12th hole at the TPC at The Canyons.
Jay Haas got off to a fast start in his bid to win consecutive Champions Tour events, shooting a 7-under 65 on Friday for a share of the first-round lead with Des Smyth and Morris Hatalsky in the Administaff Small Business Classic.
The 51-year-old Haas, still active on the US PGA Tour, won the Greater Hickory Classic on Sunday in North Carolina for his first victory on the 50-and-over tour.
Haas, a nine-time winner on the regular PGA Tour who will receive the US Golf Association's 2006 Bob Jones Award for distinguished sportsmanship, had an eagle and five birdies in his bogey-free round on the Augusta Pines course. He eagled the par-5 second hole and played the back nine in 5-under 31 with birdies on Nos. 10-13 and 18.
"It's a relaxed feeling for me," Haas said. "Obviously, I'm playing well so I have an attitude to be patient and let it happen."
Smyth, a two-time winner this year, also had a bogey-free round. He made 35- and 25-foot birdie putts on Nos. 10 and 11.
Hale Irwin was a stroke back along with Brad Bryant, Bobby Wadkins and Mark McNulty, and Mike Sullivan, Danny Edwards, Dave Barr and Gil Morgan opened with 67s.
The 60-year-old Irwin, a four-time winner this year and the tour's career leader with 44, made a 72-foot par putt on the final hole.
Raphael Jacquelin shot his second consecutive 64 to take a three-stroke lead as Spaniard Ivo Giner delighted the home gallery with an 11-under 60.
The 31-year-old Jacquelin, who has had four runner-up finishes but has never won on the European tour, started on the back nine and birdied Nos. 11-14, but took two bogeys on the front, including on the closing ninth, for a 14-under 128 on the 6,967-yard, par-71 Club de Campo course.
England's Gary Emerson matched the French leader's 64 and was three strokes back with Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke, who shot 67.
Giner, a former Spanish youth champion from Barcelona, also started on the back. He opened birdie-bogey, added three more birdies before making the turn and then birdied Nos. 2-3, eagled the 518-yard, par-5 fourth and closed with birdies on four of the last five holes.
His only par was at the 384-yard eighth, where his 14-foot birdie attempt was just short.
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly