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Category: Michelle Wie

Kia Classic: Local golfer Mindy Kim in the hunt

Mindy-kim_600

Mindy Kim, a 21-year-old in her third year on the LPGA Tour, shot a seven-under-par 66 in her second round that was completed Saturday morning and is now tied for fifth, six shots behind Kia Classic leader Jiyai Shin.

Michelle Wie has begun her third round with a birdie on the 548-yard, par-five first hole and she is now four under for the tournament and tied for ninth with fellow American Paige Mackenzie.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Mindy Kim lines up a putt last week at the LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Kia Classic: Second round complete; Shin still leads

Shin1_300 The rain-delayed LPGA golf tournament at the Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms had its second round finished Saturday morning.

Jiyai Shin, who shot a nine-under-par 64 and completed her second round Friday, was able to sleep in Saturday while 72 other golfers had to get up early and finish. Shin's lead had been four shots over the field Friday but it was down to one over Germany's Sandra Gal by noon Saturday. Gal completed her second-round five-under par 68 Saturday morning and has a two-round score of 11-under 135, one shot behind Shin.

Another South Korean, I.K. Kim, starts the third round in third place at seven-under par. First-round leader Amanda Blumenherst had a one-over 74 in the second round and is in a three-way tie for fourth with Chella Choi of South Korea and Mindy Kim of the U.S.

Michelle Wie, who had been third after the first round, will start the third round in a three-way tie for 10th place, and nine shots behind Shin. Australia's Karrie Webb, who is aiming for her third straight tournament victory, snuck in just under the cut, which was scores of two-over and lower. But it seems unlikely that Webb, tied for 60th and 14 shots behind Shin, can continue her winning streak.

Tournament officials hope the third round can be completed Saturday.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Jiyai Shin acknowledges the gallery after finishing her second round Friday at Industry Hills Golf Club. Credit: Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Kia Classic: Jiyai Shin goes low

Shiin2_600 Jiyai Shin shot a nine-under-par 64 on Friday in the second round of the Kia Classic to grab a six-shot lead in the rain-delayed LPGA event.

The South Korean is 12 under par after her 64 on Friday, giving her a two-day total of 134.

Tied for second are Chella Choi, a fellow South Korean, who shot a 68 Friday, and first-round leader Amanda Blumenherst, who is one over through six holes at the Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms. Friday's start was delayed by three hours because of rain and Shin will be one of the lucky golfers who can sleep in on Saturday.

Michelle Wie started the day in third place, only two shots out of first, but struggled to a two-over 75 on Friday. She is tied for eighth, eight shots behind Shin.

Shin had nine birdies and no bogeys, and she managed to keep her white pants unmuddied.

Blumenherst, a Duke graduate in her second year on the LPGA Tour, didn't tee off until after 4:30 and, possibly because of the long wait, bogeyed her first hole.

Wie, who has two career LPGA wins but none in the United States, said, "I just kind of mis-hit a couple of shots and missed a couple of putts today and I guess that's the difference it makes."

ALSO:

Jiyai Shin can't stop making birdies

Shin opens three-stroke lead

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Jiyai Shin tees off during the LPGA Thailand golf tournament in Pattaya. Credit: Sakchai Lalit/ Associated Press

Kia Classic: Jiyai Shin can't stop making birdies

Wie_300 Kia Classic first-round leader Amanda Blumenherst just finished her first hole, her delayed tee time of 3:50 delayed by almost another hour. Blumenherst immediately bogeyed the first hole at the LPGA tournament in Industry.

Even before Blumenherst started, she had to notice she was no longer in first place. The leader is Jiyai Shin, who is nine under par through 16 holes of her second round and 12 under for the tournament, at least six shots better than everybody else. Tied for second right now are Chella Choi, who, like Shin, is from South Korea, Germany's Sandra Gal, who just parred her first hole, and the obviously nervous Blumenherst.

Michelle Wie, who began the day two shots behind Blumenherst in third place, is one over on her second round through 17 holes. She's dropped into a tie for eighth, eight shots behind Shin.

RELATED:

Jiyai Shin opens three-stroke lead

Kia Classic: Jiyai Shin is new leader

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Michelle Wie reacts after making a putt on the 12th green Friday during the second round of the LPGA Kia Classic golf tournament at Industry Hills Golf Club. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press

Kia Classic: Jiyai Shin is new leader

Lih2gznc After seven holes of five-under par golf Friday, South Korea's Jiyai Shin has moved into sole possession of first place at the LPGA's Kia Classic golf tournament.

Shin, who started the day tied for fourth, birdied the second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh holes and is eight-under for the tournament. She is a stroke ahead of first-round leader Amanda Blumenherst, who isn't scheduled to tee off until 3:50 p.m.

Michelle Wie, who began the day in third place, two shots out of the lead, is now tied for fifth and is one-over par through nine holes of her second round.

Also making a strong move Friday is another South Korean, Chella Choi, who began the day tied for 17th and is now alone in fourth place and working on a round of four-under through 13 holes.

RELATED:

Kia Classic: Michelle Wie hasn't made par yet

Weather delay at KIA classic

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Jiyai Shin of South Korea poses for a portrait on March 22, 2011 at the Industry Hills Golf Club in the City of Industry, CA. Credit: Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images

Kia Classic: Jiyai Shin, a former No. 1, making a move

Jiya_240i Jiyai Shin of South Korea, who was No. 1 in the Rolex rankings for a few months last year and who was a five-time winner on the LPGA Tour in 2009 and 2010, has moved into a tie for second place at the Kia Classic at Industry Hills. Shin is working on a round of three under par so far Friday and she's only through four holes.

She has birdied the second, third and fourth holes and is at six under for the tournament, tied with Germany's Sandra Gal. Gal isn't scheduled to tee off in the rain-delayed second round until 4:10 p.m.

Michelle Wie, who was third after the first round, is even-par through five holes Friday and is alone in fourth place, five under par. First-round leader Amanda Blumenherst (seven under) doesn't tee off until 3:50 p.m.

In 2009 Shin was the LPGA's rookie of the year, and in 2008 she won the women's British Open.

RELATED:

Kia Classic: Michelle Wie hasn't made par yet

Weather delay at KIA classic

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Jiyai Shin. Credit: Jonathon Ferrey / Getty Images.

Kia Classic: Michelle Wie hasn't made par yet

Mich_240 While most of the first-round leaders at the Kia Classic at Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms haven't teed off yet in the rain-delayed second round, Michelle Wie, who was in third place after the first round, bogeyed her first hole Friday, the par-four 10th hole, then birdied her second, the par-four 11th. So she is still at five-under and two shots behind first-round leader Amanda Blumenherst, who had a 66 Thursday and who isn't scheduled to tee off until 3:50 p.m.

Sandra Gal of Germany is second after her 67 Thursday and she won't tee off until 4:10 p.m. Katherine Hull of the U.S. is two-under through four holes Friday and has moved into a tie for 10th. Hull is two-under for the tournament.

The course picked up another third of an inch of rain overnight and Friday morning and because of a three-hour delay at the start, it's unlikely the second round will be finished before Saturday morning.

ALSO:

Weather delay at KIA Classic

Kia Classic: Michelle Wie making a move, Natalie Gulbis not

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Michelle Wie. Credit: Scott Halleran / Getty Images.

Kia Classic: Michelle Wie making a move, Natalie Gulbis not

Wie_450 Michelle Wie, who has as a major sponsor the car company Kia, just birdied the 14th hole to move to three under par, good enough to be tied for third at the moment at the Kia Classic. Wie is four shots behind leader Amanda Blumenherst and is tied with four others.

Natalie Gulbis, who once dated Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, looked a little cold. Gulbis is wearing a short golf skirt in the chilly temperatures while most others have long pants and sweaters as their golf gear. And Gulbis is struggling with the golf part too. She bogeyed the par-five first hole and had a quadruple-bogey eight on the par-four second hole and is at five over par through 11 (she just bogeyed the 11th).

RELATED:

Michelle Wie met Blake Griffin, but she won't dunk over a Kia

Kia Classic: Cristie Kerr struggles

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Michelle Wie follows through on her drive at No. 7 on Thursday during the opening round of the Kia Classic. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press

Michelle Wie met Blake Griffin, but she won't dunk over a Kia

Mw Michelle Wie has a Kia car commercial, and that sponsorship gave Wie the chance to go to a Clippers game and meet Blake Griffin. Wie said she won't be dunking over a Kia, as Griffin did at the NBA's All-Star weekend. Wie would love, however, to make a commercial with Griffin.

"As long as it doesn't involve me jumping over cars," she said Wednesday at Industry Hills Golf Club after playing in the pro-am at the Kia Classic. "I'd need a lot of cables and special effects to do that."

Wie was making a pitch for something besides Kia as well: the organization Keep A Breast, a nonprofit group that aims to educate young people on ways to prevent and detect breast cancer. She and the organization are auctioning a pink-and-white golf bag, with proceeds going to the foundation. Wie designed the bag.

As far as her golf game, Wie said that so early in the season, "it's a work in progress. I worked really hard this off-season, though."

And as far as her skills as a basketball dunker, she said, "It was mind-blowing that [Griffin] could jump over a car. I have trouble jumping over a tee marker."

Wie is scheduled to tee off Thursday at 12:10 p.m. on the first tee, and she is paired with Ai Miyazato and Maria Hjorth. Wie's group follows the noon threesome of Paula Creamer, Juli Inkster and Mika Miyazato.

RELATED:

LPGA's Japanese golfers helping raise money and hope

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Michelle Wie poses for a portrait on March 22, 2011 at the Industry Hills Golf Club in the City of Industry, California. Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Michelle Wie cools off by turning up the (oven) heat

Wie_300 Michelle Wie was baking hot after incurring a two-stroke penalty Sunday in the final round of the Kia Classic at La Costa Resort and Spa, so she went home and baked.

She also made a dress.  Baking and sewing, she said, are things she does when she is upset.

“I made some really nice brownies, so after finishing those, I was very happy,” Wie said Tuesday when she met with reporters after a practice round for this week's Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage. “I made brownies, I made oatmeal raisin cookies, and I made myself a nice dress. It was a very productive morning.”

Presumably more productive than when she pleaded her case with rules officials after she grounded her club in a hazard on the 11th hole at La Costa.

Wie, who dropped from second to sixth after the penalty, told officials that she thought she might lose her balance and fall into the water. In such a case, the two-stroke penalty would have been waived, but officials didn’t buy her story. 

"It happens," she said. "It was very unfortunate, but I’m just looking forward to this week.”

It isn't the first time Wie has had a run-in with the rules. In 2005, she was disqualified from her professional debut after taking an illegal drop. In the '06 British Open, she took a two-stroke penalty for grounding her club in the bunker.  In 2008, she was disqualified from the State Farm Classic for failing to sign her scorecard.

After the British Open incident, she was asked if she’d brush up on the rules of golf and famously replied, “Well, it’s not actually great reading material.”

On Tuesday, she said she had tried to learn from each infraction.

“You just learn,” she said. “It’s hard to know all of [the rules], but, you know, you learn from your mistakes. I feel like everyone makes mistakes. It’s something you never want to do, but it happens. ... That’s what happened and hopefully from now on it won’t happen.”

Much of Wie’s unfamiliarity with the rules can be traced to her background.  She started playing professional events when she was 13 and has made her mistakes and taken penalties on a public stage.  Most players make similar mistakes in junior golf.

Brittany Lincicome, the defending champion this week, said the hazard rule that Wie violated last week is one of the most well known in golf.

"That, obviously, anybody should have known," she said. "That’s pretty basic."

Lincicome, acknowledged that the rules are confusing, and when in doubt, she always calls for a ruling.  Wie did not call for a ruling Sunday and instead was informed by officials about the penalty.

"There are still so many rules that I get stumped with all the time, and I’m calling in rules officials where I’ve never dealt with a situation before," she said. "I always take the extra time to call the rules official over and be sure to get it right."

-- Peter Yoon

Photo: Michelle Wie watches a shot during the pro-am for the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Wednesday. Credit: David Cannon / Getty Images.

Seo in control at Kia Classic; Wie not so much

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

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