What to Watch for: Saturday at the SBS Open

Like everybody else in the golf world, I will be watching Michelle Wie during the final round of the SBS Open to see if she can close out a tournament, at long last. Wie hasn’t won a thing in a mind-boggling six years, and a good start will be crucial for her to keep her confidence intact and rev up the home crowd. She missed two short putts at the close of the second round, which she blamed on the vagaries of putting in high winds. Fair enough, but it could also have been the first signs that she is feeling the pressure of the enormity of the opportunity. Wie has displayed a newfound poise and maturity this week but she is facing one of the toughest and most important rounds of her career. I can’t wait to see how she does.
Wie is facing off against a very tough competitor in co-leader Angela Stanford, who ended last year as one of the hottest golfers on the planet. Over her last six events Stanford finished 1-3-2-4-1-6. She knows how to win, and the native Texan is a very good-wind player. Saturday gusts may reach 40 miles per hour, making the final round a test of nerve and will, as much as ball-striking. A Wie victory would be a huge story, but my hunch is that Stanford won’t let it happen.

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by Kevin Cunningham