Wie withdraws from Ginn Tribute after 16 holes
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. -- Hawaii's Michelle Wie withdrew from the Ginn Tribute on Thursday after shooting 14 over through 16 holes, aggravating a wrist injury that sidelined her since January.
After Wie bogeyed the par-4 seventh, the 17-year-old star from Hawaii told an LPGA Tour official: "We're not going to play anymore."AP Photo/Mary Ann ChastainMichelle Wie was 14-over par before withdrawing from the Ginn Tribute Thursday.
Wie wore bandages on her wrists during the round and said she withdrew because she "tweaked" the injury and not because of an LPGA Tour rule that bans non-tour members for the year if they shoot 88 or higher. Wie was two bogeys from that scenario when she stopped.
"I had issues with my wrist," she said. "Shooting 88 is not what I think about."
While Wie struggled in her return, Annika Sorenstam was pleased with her even-par 72 after missing nearly two months because of a ruptured disk and a bulging disk. "I'm extremely happy with my round considering the circumstances," she said.
LPGA rookie Angela Park held the first-round lead at 6 under.
Wie's round included a 10 on the par-5 third hole, when her first drive hit a parked car and rolled down a roadway drain.
"It was actually quite funny," she said. "I was going to crawl down the drain to show people it was in play. But I couldn't fit."
After her provisional tee shot went way left into a pond, Wie's third drive landed in the rough and she went on to a quintuple bogey.
Wie looked defeated as she played her final hole, No. 7. She sent her approach shot way past the pin for a final bogey to move to 14 over.
As Wie headed to the tee, she was stopped by her manager, Greg Nared. The two chatted for a few moments -- Nared even keeping Wie's mother, Bo, from joining the conversation -- before they called an LPGA Tour official to end the round.
Wie walked onto the eighth tee, shook hands with playing partners Janice Moodie and Alena Sharp, got on a cart with her parents and caddie and drove back to the clubhouse as the gallery applauded.
Wie went to a private room to have her bandages taken off. She briefly had an ice bag on her left wrist before taking questions.
Wie had not played a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in January.
"It's a bummer," Sorenstam, the tournament host, said of Wie's withdrawal. "I'm sorry for her."
Things looked promising when Wie teed off on the 10th hole in the foggy South Carolina morning. Her drive landed cleanly in the fairway and she two-putted from about 40 feet for par.
Wie drove into a pond on the 11th for a bogey. She hit a tree with her tee shot on the next hole and made double bogey.
On her first par-3, the 14th, Wie landed in the woods right of the green. She chose to re-tee -- after father B.J. reminded her caddie of that option -- and again went right. A chip and two putts later, Wie had made a triple bogey and stood at 7 over through five holes.
Wie's problems continued on the par-5 16th as she pushed her drive into clumps of grass. She took relief about 80 yards behind her ball for yet another bogey.
Wie looked as if she had settled her game on the 18th hole with a long drive in the fairway and an approach to a foot for her only birdie.
Then came the third hole when Wie's round collapsed.
"It was a bad hole and everyone has bad holes," she said.
Wie hopes to play in next week's major, the McDonald's LPGA Championship.
"I want to be smart about" the injury, Wie said. "But I definitely want to get back playing, so I'm going to work on it."
Sorenstam couldn't have been more satisfied with her play. She made birdies on three of her final four holes.
Still, Sorenstam says she's searching for a balance between swinging aggressively and yet in control enough not to re-injure her back. "I'm happy to be back," she said. "It's great to post a score."'
Wie tried to sound upbeat after deciding to leave. "I know what to work on," she said. "The only way to go from here is up, so I'm feeling pretty good about it."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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