OAKMONT, Pa. – Michelle Wie pumped her first twice after holing a 6-foot par putt on Oakmont Country Club’s first hole during the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open.
The celebration seemed appropriate – pars are proving hard to come by at Oakmont – but its timing did not. The par wasn’t a solid start to her day. It kept her at 8 over par after 10 holes.
Wie eventually shot an 11-over 82 Thursday. She had just a handful of realistic birdie opportunities and made none of them.
“There was nothing I could do,” Wie said. “You know, I (tried) my hardest, and things didn’t really work out.”
She three-putted three times in an early four-hole stretch that doomed her chances. After teeing off on No. 10, Wie played Nos. 14-17 in 7 over. Double bogeys on Nos. 14, 16 and 17 were all caused by three-putts.
Wie was paired with Ai Miyazato (73) and Jiyai Shin (76) in one of Thursday’s premier pairings. Shin and Miyazato have both been No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings this year; Wie once was expected to reach that level, but thus far has failed to meet expectations.
The threesome combined for three birdies, all by Miyazato, and an eagle by Shin, who holed her third shot on the par-5 fourth hole from 70 yards. She double bogeyed the next hole after hitting her tee shot into high grass right of the fairway and taking an unplayable lie.
Miyazato made all of her birdies in a 2-under 34 on Oakmont’s front nine, her second nine of the day. Miyazato, winner of four LPGA events this year, is seeking her first major.
Oakmont is playing difficult, and Wie didn’t make it any easier on herself. She hit just 4 of 14 fairways and 6 of 18 greens, and had 34 putts. When asked what she needed to improve, Wie replied, “Everything.”