Wie's Sony score inflates in Hawaii's high winds

Friday, January 13, 2006

HONOLULU -- Michelle Wie signed for her highest score on the PGA Tour, one that sent her to the bottom of the leaderboard Thursday at the Sony Open, and struggled to keep her voice steady while explaining what went wrong.

Three double bogeys. Two three-putts. And late in a blustery round at Waialae, one shot was so off-line that her agent held up his leather-bound notebook to keep the ball from hitting him in the head, leaving a dent in the cover.

Unable to stop the slide in gusts up to 35 mph, Wie stumbled to a 9-over 79 that left her with virtually no hope of becoming the first woman in 61 years to make the cut on the PGA Tour.

All that spared her from last place was Jimmy Walker, who shot 80 in the final group of a long day.

"Today it was like, 'Wow," she said. "It's like, 'I can't believe I'm doing this bad."'

And as the 16-year-old got up from her chair, she finally figured out what would make it all go away.

"I want some chocolate," she said.

The course played nearly two shots over par, so it was no picnic for anyone. Rory Sabbatini birdied five of his last seven holes for a 5-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead over David Toms, K.J. Choi, Charles Warren and Jeff Gove.

Defending champion Vijay Singh had to birdie his last two holes for a 71.

Many expected Wie to be somewhere around par, or at the very least with a chance to become the first female since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to make it to the weekend on the PGA Tour.

Instead, her fourth start on the PGA Tour -- and third straight appearance in the Sony Open -- quickly turned into her worst on a wind-swept day.

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