Wie finishes 1 shot short

The 14-year-old girl was trying to make the cut for the Sony Open.

Published: Saturday, January 17, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 17, 2004 at 12:29 a.m.

HONOLULU - This is one time a 14-year-old girl dreads having the weekend off.

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Michelle Wie reacts after almost hitting the ball out of the bunker for a birdie on the ninth hole of Waialae Country Club during the second round of the Sony Open in Honolulu on Friday.

The Associated Press

Michelle Wie battled to the very end Friday, making two birdies on her final three holes for a 2-under 68 that left her one shot short of making the cut in the Sony Open.

``I cannot believe it,'' Wie said, exasperated that her even-par 140 wasn't enough to play on the weekend.

Maybe another time - like, soon.

The youngest player in the PGA Tour record books, Wie posted the lowest score ever by a female competing against the men. Se Ri Pak had a 3-under 69 last year in the third round of the SBS Super Tournament on the Korean PGA Tour, where she tied for 10th.

That was as low as Wie could have gone. She saved par on nearly half her holes, and two of her birdies Friday at Waialae Country Club were from at least 50 feet.

Still, it left a strong field at the Sony Open in awe.

``It's pretty incredible,'' former Sony Open winner Jerry Kelly said. ``She's opening the door.''

She tied for 79th and finished ahead of 49 other players who make a living on the PGA Tour.

Steve Allan of Australia shot an 8-under 62, and at 129 held a one-stroke lead over Harrison Frazar (63) going into a weekend that won't have nearly the crowd or the excitement.

Wie returns to the ninth grade at nearby Punahou School, but she left quite an impression - with her 68 and the strong finishing kick.

Despite a good chip to save par on No. 15, Wie knew she had to play the final three holes in 3 under to make the cut.

With the sun setting over Diamond Head, Wie belted her longest drive of the week, 311 yards. Her approach stopped 15 feet beyond the cup, and she holed it for her sixth birdie of the week.

She pulled her tee shot on the 189-yard 17th, the ball bouncing off the grandstand into the rough about 100 feet from the flag. Fighting to the end, she pitched to 4 feet and saved par for the eighth time in the round.

Wie needed an eagle on the final hole to make the cut, and she gave herself a chance with another big drive, leaving herself 252 yards to the hole.

She hit 3-wood a little too much in the air and it landed softly in front of the green, rolling into the first cut of rough. With a packed grandstand quietly watching, her chip for eagle headed to the hole and turned away, running about 4 feet by to end her hopes of making the cut.

Wie finished in style with her seventh birdie of the week.

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