Wie fails to make the cut

Schoolgirl sensation Michelle Wie fell short in her bid to become the first female in 60 years to make a cut on the PGA Tour on Friday at the $4-million John Deere Classic.

The 15-year-old prodigy appeared on her way to the weekend when she was derailed by a double-bogey at the sixth, her 15th hole of the day.

She then bogeyed the next, and parred her last two holes to complete an even-par 71 for a one-under total of 141.

She missed the cut by two strokes, leaving legendary Babe Didrikson Zaharias as the last woman to make a PGA Tour cut—at the 1945 Tucson Open.

Starting at the 10th, Wie was on her way to making history when she birdied three of her first five holes to move to four-under for the tournament. A bogey and another bogey saw her at four-under through nine holes.

“I felt real good, but I just couldn’t get anything going on my back nine,” Wie said. “I finished under par, I guess that counts for something.”

It wasn’t Wie’s first attempt to take on the men.
Participating on a sponsor’s exemption, Wie played the Sony Open the past two years in her hometown Honolulu. She missed the cut by one stroke the first time around, but fell seven strokes shy of the cut this year.

In between her highly publicised PGA Tour forays, the gifted amateur has earned accolades on the LPGA tour.

Wie finished second in the LPGA Championship and was co-leader after three rounds of the US Women’s Open before staggering to a final-round 82.

JL Lewis, the 1999 champion, fired a six-under-par 65 on Friday after an opening-round 64 to move to the top of the John Deere leader board at 13-under 129.

Lewis was full of praise for Wie.

“It’s pretty phenomenal,” Lewis said. “Has there ever been anybody that age, man or woman, that could play in a tour event at age 15? She came out here and almost broke par twice. More power to her. That’s pretty impressive.”

First-round leader Hunter Mahan, who shot a 63 on Thursday, signed for a second-round 68 to lie two strokes behind Lewis.

Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama fired a 63 to move into a tie with Mahan at 11-under 131.

Brandt Jobe shot his second straight round of 66 for 132.

In addition to a first prize of $720 000, a trip to St Andrews, Scotland, is also on the line this week. The top finisher not already exempt for the British Open will earn an invitation to the season’s third major championship.—Sapa-AFP

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