Wed, May 17, 2006 - Page 18 News List

`Awesome,' Wie says after clinching local qualifier

AP , KAHUKU, HAWAII

Michelle Wie signs her scorecard after finishing the 2006 US Open Championship local qualifier golf tournament at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, Hawaii, on Monday.

PHOTO: AP

Michelle Wie moved a step closer in her long-shot bid to become the first woman to qualify for the US Open, shooting an even-par 72 on Monday to win a local qualifier.

"Awesome," she said after a US Golf Association official told her that the results were official.

The USGA believes she is the first woman to get through local qualifying for the US Open. Wie and two other players advanced to sectional play next month, with Wie saying she will play in the June 5 36-hole sectional in Canoe Brook, New Jersey.

"It's huge," Wie said. "I'm just hoping to get through this and I'm going to practice my butt off for the summer."

Joe Phengsavath of Honolulu was second with a 1-over 73. There was a three-way playoff for the third spot.

Last year, Wie failed to advance with a 4-over 76 in the qualifier. She finished in a three-way tie for sixth and was declared the second alternate.

Wie was one of two female players in the field on Monday. Fifteen-year-old Carmen Bandea of Atlanta shot an 80.

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