Wie suffers another setback, forced out of Women's Open

Updated: June 30, 2007, 2:54 PM ET
By Bob Harig | Special to ESPN.com

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Perhaps now Michelle Wie will take some time to let her injured wrist -- and her psyche -- heal.

Michelle Wie
AP Photo/Mary Ann ChastainMichelle Wie said her left wrist hurt her Saturday morning and got worse before she pulled out after nine holes.

The one-time teenage phenom suffered another setback on Saturday at the U.S. Women's Open, where she withdrew on the 10th hole after aggravating a wrist injury that kept her out for four months earlier this year and has led to some unsightly golf since her return.

Wie, who shot an 82 during the first round, said she woke up with a sore wrist and then "tweaked" it during her first nine holes in which she was 6 over par. After the eighth hole, things got worse and afterward Wie said the pain was "definitely enough to bring tears to my eyes. It was hard to do that for me, but it wasn't fun. It wasn't a great feeling."

After hitting her second shot on the 10th hole, Wie approached United States Golf Association officials and then walked off the course.

It has been a rough month for Wie, 17, who broke her wrist during a fall in the winter -- an injury that she did not disclose for months -- and has had trouble regaining her form.

Wie was on her way to a 23rd consecutive round in which she did not break par, a streak that dates back to last year's Evian Masters, where she led on the back nine before being overtaken by Karrie Webb.

At the Ginn Tribute in early June, Wie was involved in controversy when she withdrew during the first round with just two holes remaining while precariously close to shooting an 88 -- a score that would have resulted in her being banned from LPGA Tour events for the rest of the year.

Then at the LPGA Championship, Wie barely made the cut before finishing 35 strokes behind the winner and 10 strokes behind the second-to-last finisher. She said earlier in the week that she would not skip this tournament because it's "the freakin' U.S. Women's Open."

But it was obvious throughout that she is not ready to play among the elite. Her strength has not returned and she has struggled to drive the ball far and in play. Although she said Thursday that "there is a fine line between shooting 69 and 82," it appeared she was nowhere close to shooting the lower number.

Wie appears caught between her desire to play and improve and a possible need to rest and let her injury heal. Wie, who is from Hawaii, said she likely would return to Florida, where she often practices with her coach, David Leadbetter.

"I definitely have to play and work out to get stronger," said Wie, who left up in the air her future tournament plans, which were supposed to include the Evian Masters in France and the Women's British Open at St. Andrews. "But it's just trial and error. I just have to see. I definitely want to compete, because that's what I like to do. But I definitely have to think about my health and work on it. Like I said, it's a work in progress."

Bob Harig is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com. He can be reached at BobHarig@gmail.com.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com