(updates at end of round)
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
EDINA, Minnesota, June 26 Michelle Wie suffered
a bruising experience on one of Interlachen's severely sloping
greens en route to an eight-over-par 81 at the U.S. Women's Open
Playing her fourth LPGA Tour event of the year, Wie ran up
an ugly nine at the par-four ninth after taking six shots to
find the hole from tangly rough behind the green.
The 18-year-old American also piled up five bogeys and two
birdies to end the first round a distant 14 strokes behind early
leader Oh Ji-young of South Korea.
"I had a couple of bad holes but I'm more than confident I
can spring back tomorrow and shoot a low score," Wie told
"Look how many iron shots I hit close today. I left at least
four or five birdie putts out there and very makeable putts. My
putting let me down a little bit but I'm feeling very confident
over the tees and I'm very confident over the second shot.
"The one glaring thing is the ninth hole," added Wie of her
start at the third women's major of the season. "If I par that
or birdie that tomorrow I'll be pretty good."
After pushing her tee shot at the 413-yard ninth under trees
in the right rough, Wie punched her second across the fairway
into the left rough, well short of the elevated green.
The statuesque Hawaiian struck her third shot low, the ball
shooting across the putting surface and nestling in thick rough
behind the green.
She then duffed her fourth, advancing the ball only a yard,
before taking out her putter and rolling the ball down the slope
and off the front of the green into more rough.
Attempting a delicate chip with her sixth, she watched as
her ball narrowly cleared the crest of the green before stopping
and rolling back toward her feet.
Wie hit a more aggressive chip for her seventh, landing the
ball beyond the hole and using the contours of the green to
leave herself a five-foot putt for an eight.
She narrowly missed that before tapping in for a nine and
wearily trudging off toward the 10th tee.
"Nine was a blur," said Wie, who had to qualify after being
troubled by a wrist injury throughout 2007. "I had trouble
counting how many strokes I had.
"But it was just one bad hole and it's a U.S. Open. It will
bite you in the butt."
(Editing by Tony Jimenez)