EDINA, Minn. (AP) — After bogeying her last hole of the day before darkness prematurely ended her second round in the U.S. Women’s Open, Michelle Wie was told she had the option of getting a van ride back to the clubhouse or walking.
“I’ll walk,” Wie said. “It’s good for the soul.”
Going to bed knowing that she will miss the cut no matter what happens when she plays the final hole of her round Saturday morning? That may be a different story.
With one hole to play, Wie was 2 over for the day and 10 over for the tournament, well over the 4 over needed to continue to the third round at Interlachen. It’s the first time in her six U.S. Women’s Opens that she will miss the cut.
“It was a tough day out there,” said Wie, who led the Open after three rounds in 2005 and 2006 before losing. “Just couldn’t hit my putts and it was very unfortunate.”
Two-time champion Karrie Webb did make her biggest putt – an 8-foot birdie try on No. 18 to stay alive at 4 under.
Other notables to miss the cut included Laura Davies, who began the day three shots off the lead but shot an 81 to finish 5 over.
Juli Inkster, a two-time Open champion, missed for the second straight year. She shot an 81, her highest score in the Open since she opened with an 86 in 1985.
Se Ri Pak, the Open winner in 1998, shot a 78 and finished at 8over, while Alexis Thompson, the 13-year-old from Coral Springs, Fla., shot a 77 to miss for the second straight year.
Five amateurs have made the cut already, with 13 still to finish Saturday.
It’s been a disappointing tournament all around for the 18-year-old Wie. She had an embarrassing 9 on hole No. 9 in the opening round on Thursday, but shot 1 under on the front nine Friday before play was suspended by bad weather.
Once play resumed, Wie couldn’t make the run necessary to get back in the hunt. She had a tough time on hole No. 5, pushing her drive into the deep, wet rough on the far right side, then hitting a punch-shot off a tree. It was one of her three bogeys on the day. With only one birdie, she has no chance when play resumes for one hole on Saturday morning.
“If my putts drop, it would have been a different story,” Wie said. “Now I know what to work on.”
BIRD’S EYE VIEW: Norm Lane and his wife drove 10 hours from Wichita, Kan., to watch the tournament from the front lawn of their daughter and son-in-law’s home on the right side of the fifth hole.
Lane got a great view of Wie, who yanked her tee shot into the deep rough on No. 5, barely 10 feet from where Lane was sitting in his lawn chair, sipping a cold beer.
“My wife said, `Look at that gal,”‘ Lane said. “I said, that’s Michelle!”
Wie is one of Lane’s favorites, and it’s true what they say about real estate – the three most important factors when buying a home are location, location, location.
“I’m glad it rained,” Lane said. “It helped us see some of the big shots.”
COURSE SETUP: The USGA was up to its new tricks Friday, moving up several tees to places where players did not practice. It not only made the holes shorter, it changed the angle of attack off the tee.
There was nothing drastic like the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, where the 14th hole could play 435 yards or 277 yards. But the tee markers were moved up 36 yards on the tough 17th, making it play 405 yards. Tees also were moved up 25 yards on the 10th and 19 yards on the 13th, both par 5s.
The idea behind No. 17 was to allow players to take on the bunkers down the left side, and it sure did make a difference.
Annika Sorenstam decided to hit driver, but she pulled it left and hit a tree before it fell into the deep rough. Her next shot clipped a tree again, leaving her in the rough. From there, the Swede did well to knock it onto the green and two-putt from 60 feet for a bogey.
Paula Creamer, who is much shorter than Sorenstam off the tee, played a 3-wood to the right side of the fairway, a long iron onto the green and two-putted from 18 feet.
“When the tee is in the back, nobody can carry the bunker on the left,” Sorenstam said. “I don’t know if you saw the pin today, but it’s tucked way back there on the left. And if you are not way out to right – which then, you put the bunker and the rough into play – you don’t have a good angle in. It’s one of those holes you have to be smart, but conservative.”
The idea on the 10th and 13th holes was to make players think about going for the green in two. The pin was back right on the 10th, bringing an oak tree and the pond to the right into play. Sorenstam drilled a 3-wood to 20 feet and two-putted for eagle.
Sorenstam and Suzann Pettersen both hit 3-wood off the tee on the 504-yard 13th. Creamer hit driver, then a fairway metal that ran across the fairway but well short of the water. That left her a sand wedge to the green.
“The golf course played totally different than it did yesterday,” Creamer said. “A lot of tees moved up. We’ll see how it is tomorrow.”
FALLBACK PLAN: Finland’s Minea Blomqvist shot a 4-under 69 on Friday to climb into second place. If the 23-year-old can’t manage to carve a career out as a golfer, she can always rely on her caddying skills to pay the bills.
Blomqvist hasn’t played since the McDonald’s LPGA Championship in the first week in June because she has been spending her time caddying for fiancee Roope Kakko on the Challenge Tour in Europe.
“I’m a perfect caddie,” Blomqvist said with a smile. “You know, I have like two top-10s as a caddie. So if this doesn’t work out, I’ll go for that.”
With his girlfriend caddying for him, Kakko finished tied for seventh at the Open de Saint Omer two weeks ago, earning Blomqvist a nice little commission from the $20,124 purse.
“Of course, you know,” Blomqvist said with another giggle. “I’m not cheap.”
The pair has been dating for seven years now, despite the surname Blomqvist is set to inherit. Kakko, she said, is a Finnish word for a rather dubious bodily function.
“You should feel bad for me about this surname because it’s not very nice,” she said. “So I’m not very happy about that, if we’re going to stay together.”
Speaking of translations, an irreverent Blomqvist was asked about the contention by Swedes that Finns talk funny. She didn’t hesitate to fire back.
“Swedes are so good in golf because in golf you need an empty mind, and there’s nothing going on in their heads,” Blomqvist said playfully. “So that’s why they play good.”
SHOT OF THE DAY: Patricia Meunier-Lebouc of France had a hole-in-one on the 164-yard 12th. Her 7-iron rolled right into the hole, which was located on the right side near the front of the green, for the 20th known ace in U.S. Women’s Open history.
She said the shot “was a beautiful 7-iron that landed on the green, about five paces from the hole, and rolled slowly into the hole.”
Meunier-Lebouc also birdied No. 18, but had 10 bogeys and shot an 80 to miss the cut. Meunier-Lebouc has twice won the LPGA Tour, at the State Farm Classic in 2002 and the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2003.