Monday, June 5, 2006

Michelle Wie Attemting to Qualify For US Open Today

Today Michelle Wie faces the final round of sectional qualifying for the United States (Men's) Open to be played in two weeks at Winged Foot. She chose the sectional at Canoe Brook in New Jersey for it's proximity to Baltimore where she is playing in an LPGA tournament this week (a major, actually).

Forget the argument over should she or
shouldn't she, I hope she does it.

There are 153 players vying for 18 spots in her sectional, and the field is stout - over 2 dozen PGA Tour pros who are otherwise not qualified are in this sectional alone, including former major champions Mark O'Meara and Mark Brooks.

The odds are against her, but if she does make it then the US Open will be a media circus, and it will be interesting to see how Tiger and Phil react to being the 2nd fiddle storyline-wise. This would be THE watershed moment for women's golf, akin to Billy Jean King in women's tennis or the US Women's World Cup in 1999 for women's soccer.

I hope she does it, just because it would make things so much more interesting, and all of the men who get their boxers in a wad when she is given sponsors exemptions into PGA events could shut their mouths and appreciate the fact that she qualified fair and square just like everyone else.

***Update 10.28 a.m. PST***

She just finished her first round, chipping in from 60 feet on the 18th hole for birdie to shoot 2-under 68. She is currently in a tie for 11th place; the leaders are at -4. Good news: no bogeys. Bad news: missed 6 birdie putts inside of 12 feet. I would assume that her afternoon tee time would be in about an hour, around 11.30 a.m. PST.

This morning she played the 6,600 yard South Course, and this afternoon she plays the 7,000 yard North Course. I have no idea which one is tougher, but the reduced length this morning probably means that the South Course will play easier for her and she is kicking herself for missing some of those birdie putts, especially a 4 footer at #4.

You can follow the action at The Golf Channel website main page, or hole-by-hole here, although it appears that you are not alone - I frequently get page errors because their server is getting more action than it can handle. F5 repeatedly if you are having trouble.

***Update 2.17 p.m. PST***

She's -2 with 8 holes to play, which currently has her tied for 23rd and missing out (top 18 get in). One birdie coming home will probably put her into a playoff for the last spots, 2 will probably get her in. Even par or worse coming home and she will likely come up short.

The Golf Channel website has been brought to its knees and appears to be down for the count; might come back as the East Coast business people log off and go home for the day.

USGA's leaderboard page is here. Remember the top 18 get in.

***Final Update*** She didn't get in. Needing a birdie or two, she pressed and instead make some bogeys coming home, which is appropriate because that is the classic US Open result when you push the envelope to make birdies instead of settling for Old Man Par.

Male chauvinists everywhere, rejoice!

But not for too long. She'll be back...

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