RTO Notebook: Wie still hasn’t cut it on PGA Tour | NevadaAppeal.com

RTO Notebook: Wie still hasn’t cut it on PGA Tour

BY DARRELL MOODY

Appeal Sports Writer

RENO ” Zero for eight.

That’s Michelle Wie’s record when she plays in a PGA Tour event. Eight tournaments entered and no cuts made.

Wie, who shot a respectable first-round 73, struggled on the back nine on two different holes to finish with an 8-over-par 80. Wie’s 36-hole total was 153.

Her troubles started on No. 4, a 518-yard par-5 where she took a double-bogey 7. That moved her from 2-over par to 4-over par with just five holes to play and the 18-year-old definitely felt the pressure.

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She carded a nine on No. 8, another par-5. That was the ballgame. Thoughts of making the cut were totally gone.

“I hit a really good 3-wood (on No. 4),” Wie said. “I didn’t think it was going to go that far. I just got under it a little bit. And, I had a hard fourth shot as welI. And the fifth shot was really hard ” it was against the grain….

“I knew I needed to make a couple of birdies. It was unfortunate that I hit it (the 3-wood) that far. I kept hitting it further and further as the day went on. I had some unfortunate lies. That’s what happens.”

No doubt tournament sponsors were disappointed. Had Wie made the cut, it would have put a few a few more people in the gallery and undoubtedly brought the tournament some national attention.

“I felt like I drove the ball very well,” Wie said. “I putted very well. I made a lot of great putts. It was a great learning experience. I need to work on my irons a little bit. Obviously the score doesn’t show it, but I know what I need to work on.”

Wie seemed to waver when asked if she would return next year if offered another exemption by the LRTO. She admitted she wasn’t sure if she would play any PGA events next year.

“You know, I’m not sure yet,” she said. “It’s a great place and would be great. I haven’t made any real decisions about that right now. I’m starting to feel more confident about my game. If the opportunity comes again, I would definitely think about it.”

MIZE ON A ROLL

Larry Mize had one of his best opening two days in recent history: He broke 70 on back-to-back days for the first time in three days.

In his 13 previous starts, his best finish was a tie for 10th at the Puerto Rico Open.

Mize was asked how important this tournament was in preparing for the Champions Tour.

“It’s already been great these two days,” Mize said. “Obviously it’s only half over. This is encouraging to know that the work I’m putting in is paying off, and I am doing a lot of good things, especially with my putting. It could be a big boost to play well this weekend.”

THE HOLE REPORT

The easiest hole in the second round proved to be No. 17, a par-5, which played to a 4.662 average. The second-easiest hole was No. 4, a 518-yard par-5. That hole played to a 4.692.

The toughest hole on Tuesday was again No. 8, a 464-yard par-4 which played to a 4.308 average. The second-toughest was No. 7, the 220-yard per-3 which played to a 3.292.

THE SCHEDULE

Action gets under way today at 8:30 a.m. with the final threesome going off at 12:50 p.m. All golfers will be teeing off from the No. 1 tee.

The Golf Channel picks up the action at 3:30 p.m., and it will be a live broadcast.

FACTS & FIGURES

A total of 71 players made the cut, which was at even-par 144. Even par had been the average over the nine previous years … Eric Axley and Tim Wilkinson are the only left-handers in the field, and both made the cut. Axley is at 6-under 138 after a 6-under-par 66 on Friday, while Wilkinson is at even-par 144 …The second-round leader/co-leader at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open has won three of nine times, including John Cook in 2001, Vaughn Taylor in 2005 and Steve Flesch in 2007. The second-round leader has gone on to win 14 of 32 stroke-play events on the PGA Tour in 2008, including the last two weeks ” Richard S. Johnson at the U.S. Bank Championship and Chez Reavie at the RBC Canadian Open…There were 58 below-par rounds and 74 at par or better. There were two scores of 80 or better … Chris Riley, one of three defending champions in the field, withdrew after a first-round 80.

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or (775) 881-1281

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