Wie stellar in first round of US Women’s Open
By JOHN ZENOR
The Associated Press
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Michelle Wie was pleasantly surprised by the condition of Shoal Creek and pleased with her game after the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open.
The 2014 champion shot a 3-under 69 Thursday on a course that has been drenched in recent days and weeks, forcing the cancellation of Tuesday’s practice round and limiting course time on the eve of the tournament.
Wie is two shots behind co-leaders Ariya Jutanugarn, Sarah Jane Smith and Jeongeun6 Lee.
She is tied with Danielle Kang and amateur Linn Grant.
Wie got off to a strong start with birdies on the second and third holes and had only one bogey.
“It’s mind-blowing how great the golf course is,” Wie said. “The greens staff, they’ve been working day and night trying to get this golf course ready and have done an amazing job.
“I thought there was no chance we could play a practice round (Wednesday). I was out there and the greens were actually great, today even better. Hopefully, you know, there will be no storms and just get better and better from here.”
She had withdrawn from last year’s U.S. Women’s Open with a neck injury and failed to make the cut in 2016, mired in 89th after the first round.
Wie is in much better position this time.
With Shoal Creek mostly closed Tuesday, Wie said she “did a whole lot of nothing,” along with working out and doing rehab.
Wie said she was having fun with her playing partners, No. 3-ranked Lexi Thompson (71) and Jessica Korda (77).
“We had a blast out there,” Wie said.
She noted a few errant “mud balls,” but was able to shrug them off.