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Seo in control at Kia Classic; Wie not so much

March 28, 2010 |  5:27 pm

Wie_300There isn’t much drama on the leaderboard in the final round of the Kia Classic at La Costa Resort and Spa as Hee Kyung Seo has extended her lead to seven shots with four holes to play.

But Michelle Wie had some excitement when she incurred a two-shot penalty for grounding her club in a hazard on the 11th hole, dropping her from four to six shots behind Seo.

Wie went for the green in two on the par-five hole, but her ball landed near the edge of a greenside lake.  With her right foot in the water, Wie tried to splash out. The ball popped up and landed in the grass, but still inside the hazard line.

After her follow through, Wie touched her club in the grass beside her, violating Rule 13-4b, and turned what was a great par save into a double bogey.

Wie pleaded her case for several minutes with rules official Doug Brecht, a conversation caught by Golf Channel television cameras in which Wie claimed she thought she was going to fall into the water and used the club to brace herself.

Officials can waive the penalty if a player uses a club to keep from falling, but Brecht told Wie a review by three rules officials determined she was not going to fall.

“I think it’s really not right,” Wie said to Brecht as she walked away.

Running afoul of the rules is not uncommon for Wie. She was disqualified in her pro debut at the 2005 Samsung World Championship for taking an illegal drop. In 2008, she was disqualified after the third round of the State Farm Classic for failing to sign her scorecard.

-- Peter Yoon, reporting from Carlsbad

Photo: Michelle Wie watches her tee shot on the second hole Sunday during the final round of the Kia Classic. Credit: Denis Poroy / Associated Press