Wie solid at 73; Overton leads RTO at 65


Appeal Sports Writer

RENO " Michelle Wie has taken a lot of criticism from her peers on the LPGA Tour and her own coach this week for her decision to play in the 10th annual Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.

David Leadbetter, who has coached Wie for several years, told telegraph.co.uk that the 18-year-old was surrounded by "far too much negative energy. She's getting slated by players on the LPGA Tour and the men's tour. She's going to be like a pariah if she's not careful."

Wie remained calm when the reporter read the quote from earlier in the week back to her, and while she admitted that she has talked to Leadbetter, she wouldn't divulge the conversation.

"I think a decision is a decision whether it's a wrong decision or a right decision," said Wie on Thursday, after shooting a 1-over-par 73 over the 7,472-yard Montreux Golf & Country Club layout.

"It's a decision I made and, you know, I'm not going to pull out," Wie said. "I'm not going to second-think my decision. I made my decision to play here and I shot a pretty decent round today. I'm not going to think about what other people are going to think about me and other things I can't control."

Wie trails leader Jeff Overton by eight shots entering today's second round. A total of 53 players shot in the 60s.

It has traditionally taken even-par 144 for 36 holes to make it to the weekend at Montreux, meaning Wie would need a 71 or better today. It would be a first for Wie in a PGA Tour event, but she said she's not thinking about it.

"I'm not going to be thinking about that at all, because if you think about making the cut, that's all you will think about," Wie said. "You think about other players. You start thinking about what position you are in, and you start to think what you have to do (to make the cut).

"All I'm going to think about tomorrow is how am I going to shoot better scores tomorrow, how am I going to hit a fairway and how am I going to stick a shot really close. I feel like a low number will solve everything."

Wie started off slow with a bogey at No. 1 when she three-putted. After a par on No. 2, she hit the flagstick on No. 3 with her approach shot and then holed out from the fringe.

"It was very crucial I hit that putt," Wie said. "It was crucial for momentum. It was a good third shot."

She bogeyed No. 5, but got back to even on the front with birdies of 4- and 6-feet respectively on Nos. 6 and 9.

Wie bogeyed both par-3s on the back, Nos. 12 and 16, but rebounded with a birdie on No. 17 when she knocked a driver and 3-wood to within 56 yards and got down in two from there to go to 1-over-par.

While the media focused on Wie, who was in the last group of the day, Overton took advantage of being the first group off at 7 a.m. He recorded eight birdies and just one bogey.

"I hit a lot of fairways to start off," Overton said. "I put myself in excellent shape, especially the first few holes and knocked it in fairly close on a couple of them with a few wedges. I hit the ball great all day, and pretty much cleaned up all my putts inside 10 feet. I hit a lot of good shots that wound up in the 12-, 15-, 18-foot range that I rolled over the edge.

"I think I only missed one green. That was the hole I missed the fairway on (the 2nd). In fact, if I could have made a couple of longer putts it would have been really good. It's great to make birdies the way we did."

Overton said his game is starting to come around again.

"I was struggling early in the year," Overton said. "I hadn't taken any time off in probably four years, ever since my junior year in college. I took about a month and a half off in the winter and didn't touch a club or anything. I came back out and pretty much felt like I'd lost my whole game. It took me probably two or three months to get it back.

"I tried qualifying for the British Open. It really came together for the first time since Disney, the last tournament (of 2007). I started putting the ball in the fairway and that allowed me to get the ball closer, especially on the par-5s."

There are 26 players within four shots of the lead heading into today's second round.

Harrison Frazar, Marco Dawson, John Merrick and Brian Davis are two back at 5-under-par 67. Thirteen players are tied at 4-under-par 68.

Frazar got it to 7-under through 15 holes, but was forced to take a penalty shot on the par-3 7th (his 16th hole) and took a double-bogey, dropping him back to 5-under-par. He birdied the par-5 eighth, but bogeyed the par-5 ninth.

Merrick also had an opportunity to get to 7-under, but he bogeyed his final hole of the day, No. 9 to fall back to 5-under-par.

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


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