Stanford steals show from Wie at SBS

By JAYMES SONG
Associated Press

KAHUKU, Hawaii — Michelle Wie seemed to have the trophy in her grasp until Angela Stanford and a late stumble got in the way.

Stanford spoiled Wie’s bid for a victory in her first start as an LPGA member, overcoming a three-stroke deficit to win the season-opening SBS Open by three shots Saturday.

Stanford closed with a 2-under 70 for a 10-under 206 total at wind-swept Turtle Bay, giving the Texan her fourth career win and third in seven starts. Wie had a disappointing 73 for her second consecutive runner-up finish in the tournament.

“Missing the trophy by a little bit is going to motivate me to work even harder for the next one,” said Wie, who hasn’t won since claiming the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships at age 13.

The 19-year-old hometown favorite was cruising along, but made a double bogey on No. 11 that gave Stanford the opening she needed.

“That was the moment I needed to step up because that was my chance,” Stanford said.

Wie said she felt she played solid.

“I just had one bad hole,” Wie said. “I’m kind of disappointed in that. But there’s a lot of positive things I can take from this week.”

Down by a stroke with six holes to play, Stanford used her irons to shoot her way back to the top of the leaderboard. She birdied three consecutive holes to reach 10 under and take a two-stroke lead over Wie with three holes to play.

The first birdie putt in the run, set up by a 5-iron into a brisk right-to-left wind, was from 15 feet.

“I needed to see a ball go in. That was huge,” she said.

The late birdie flurry provided Stanford complete momentum, while Wie helplessly watched. Wie had a chance to cut into Stanford’s lead on No. 16, but lipped out a 3 1/2-foot birdie putt. She then bogeyed No. 17 by hitting into the sand twice.

“Conditions were tough and my putts didn’t drop in. Things just didn’t go my way, unfortunately,” Wie said.

Stanford broke a big smile and was drenched with beer by other players after tapping in for birdie on 18. The win was surprising because she didn’t feel quite ready to start the season.

The 31-year-old Stanford was the hottest player on tour to end the season and has emerged as one of the top golfers in the world. In the final six events of 2008, she won twice and finished no lower than a tie for sixth. She is ranked No. 8.

Stanford is off to a fast start after coming off a career-best season where she broke $1 million for the first time and finished ninth on the money list.

Wie appeared to be sailing away with the SBS title after the turn. She went up by three strokes with eight holes to play when Stanford ran into trouble around the green and bogeyed the par-4 10th.

Even Stanford had doubts whether she could recover.

“Standing on the green at 10, I thought, I don’t know if I can make up three shots in this wind,” Stanford said. “She was going to need a mistake.”

And that’s what happened.

Wie double bogeyed the par-4 11th, flubbing her 3-wood tee shot into the right marsh and sending her chip short into the rough. That dropped her to 8 under and saw her lead reduced to just a stroke, which Stanford just breezed by.

“I was really quite shocked when her ball went in the hazard,” Stanford said.

Stanford said that’s when experience over her younger competitor paid off.

“That front nine, she didn’t make a mistake. She was doing everything she needed to do win,” Stanford said. “When she made the mistake on 11, she didn’t rebound. ... You could see her youth. In that she didn’t rebound as fast as she could have, I think.”

Stanford and Wie started the day tied for the lead at 8 under. The last time Wie led going into the final day was at the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open where she was tied with Annika Sorenstam and Brittany Lincicome. Wie ended up tied for third.

The finish was Wie’s 14th top-10 in her career and best since the 2006 Evian Ladies Masters. Wie also played the first SBS in 2005 as a 15-year-old amateur and tied for second.

“Obviously, it’s not like I want to be second place all the time,” Wie said.

Stanford, of Saginaw, Texas, said it’s just a matter of time for Wie. “She’s got all the shots. Once she figures things out, she is going to be just fine.”

Conditions at Turtle Bay were breezy for a second consecutive day with a few passing showers. Players tried to stay conservative with the wind.

“(Stanford) just seemed very stead and very in control,” Wie said.

Wie took sole possession of the lead when Stanford missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth. The uncharacteristic mistake was Stanford’s lone bogey of the tournament.

Wie went up by two strokes at the turn by sinking an 18-foot birdie putt that had the gallery packed three deep around the ninth green cheering wildly.

The lead could’ve been bigger but Stanford was able to scramble for par. Stanford’s drive bounced on the fairway and sailed left, through the crowd and over the cart path. Her ball came to rest at the roots of a large tree. She took a drop but went up-and-down to save par.

The crowd that followed the final group was almost as entertaining as the golf. The gallery ranged from Wie’s former classmates to real sumo wrestlers complete with topknots to stars from ABC drama “Lost,” which is filmed on Oahu’s North Shore.

Brazilian-born Angela Park struggled in the tradewinds and had a 75 to tie for third with South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi (69) at 4-under 212, six strokes behind Stanford.

Taiwan’s Yani Tseng (72), the 2008 rookie of the year, and Japan’s Ai Miyazato (71) were 3 under, and Cristie Kerr (69), Sarah Lee (69) and Brittany Lang (73) followed at 2 under.

Final scores with relation to par from the SBS Open, played Feb. 12-14 at the par-72, 6,560-yard Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku,Hawaii:

  1. Angela Stanford $180,000
    65-71-70--206

    -10 2. Michelle Wie 108,332
    66-70-73--209

    -7 3. Na Yeon Choi 69,690
    71-72-69--212

    -4 3. Angela Park 69,690
    69-68-75--212

    -4 5. Yani Tseng 44,484
    66-75-72--213

    -3 5. Ai Miyazato 44,484
    72-70-71--213

    -3 7. Cristie Kerr 29,755
    70-75-69--214

    -2 7. Sarah Lee 29,755
    73-72-69--214

    -2 7. Brittany Lang 29,755
    71-70-73--214

    -2 10. Jane Park 20,948
    72-73-70--215

    -1 10. Natalie Gulbis 20,948
    74-71-70--215

    -1 10. Eun-Hee Ji 20,948
    73-71-71--215

    -1 10. Taylor Leon 20,948
    69-74-72--215

    -1 10. Jee Young Lee 20,948
    71-72-72--215

    -1 15. Candie Kung 15,539
    73-73-70--216

    E 15. Johanna Mundy 15,539
    74-71-71--216

    E 15. Paula Creamer 15,539
    70-73-73--216

    E 15. Hee Kyung Seo 15,539
    72-71-73--216

    E 15. Vicky Hurst 15,539
    70-71-75--216

    E 20. Stephanie Louden 12,930
    74-74-69--217
    + 1 20. Hee-Won Han 12,930
    70-75-72--217
    + 1 20. Momoko Ueda 12,930
    68-71-78--217
    + 1 20. Stacy Lewis 12,930
    71-70-76--217
    + 1 24. Janice Moodie 11,536
    71-74-73--218
    + 2 24. Kristy McPherson 11,536
    72-73-73--218
    + 2 26. Pat Hurst 9,905
    75-72-72--219
    + 3 26. Laura Diaz 9,905
    70-76-73--219
    + 3 26. Kyeong Bae 9,905
    67-79-73--219
    + 3 26. Meaghan Francella 9,905
    72-76-71--219
    + 3 26. Morgan Pressel 9,905
    73-76-70--219
    + 3 26. Anja Monke 9,905
    72-73-74--219
    + 3 32. Kris Tamulis 7,617
    70-77-73--220
    + 4 32. Meena Lee 7,617
    71-75-74--220
    + 4 32. Suzann Pettersen 7,617
    73-73-74--220
    + 4 32. Grace Park 7,617
    75-74-71--220
    + 4 32. Juli Inkster 7,617
    69-75-76--220
    + 4 32. Jin Young Pak 7,617
    70-74-76--220
    + 4 32. Wendy Ward 7,617
    73-71-76--220
    + 4 39. Maggie Will 5,597
    75-73-73--221
    + 5 39. Nicole Castrale 5,597
    72-74-75--221
    + 5 39. Russy Gulyanamitta 5,597
    76-73-72--221
    + 5 39. Sun Young Yoo 5,597
    74-72-75--221
    + 5 39. Moira Dunn 5,597
    72-77-72--221
    + 5 39. Michele Redman 5,597
    73-72-76--221
    + 5 39. Hee Young Park 5,597
    71-73-77--221
    + 5 39. Sarah Jane Smith 5,597
    73-77-71--221
    + 5 47. Giulia Sergas 4,507
    72-76-74--222
    + 6 47. In-Kyung Kim 4,507
    69-79-74--222
    + 6 47. Allison Fouch 4,507
    76-74-72--222
    + 6 50. Shanshan Feng 3,914
    73-74-76--223
    + 7 50. Christina Kim 3,914
    74-76-73--223
    + 7 50. Heather Young 3,914
    73-77-73--223
    + 7 50. Shiho Oyama 3,914
    71-79-73--223
    + 7 54. Teresa Lu 3,914
    69-78-77--224
    + 8 54. Jimin Kang 3,322
    69-78-77--224
    + 8 54. Reilley Rankin 3,322
    76-71-77--224
    + 8 54. Jennifer Rosales 3,322
    73-77-74--224
    + 8 54. Kelli Kuehne 3,322
    72-78-74--224
    + 8 54. Mika Miyazato 3,322
    70-80-74--224
    + 8 60. Minea Blomqvist 2,847
    72-75-78--225
    + 9 60. M.J. Hur 2,847
    77-72-76--225
    + 9 60. Amy Hung 2,847
    78-72-75--225
    + 9 60. Anna Nordqvist 2,847
    74-76-75--225
    + 9 60. Wendy Doolan 2,847
    74-76-75--225
    + 9 65. Silvia Cavalleri 2,551
    71-78-77--226
    + 10 65. Carolina Llano 2,551
    74-76-76--226
    + 10 65. Il Mi Chung 2,551
    73-77-76--226
    + 10 65. Lorie Kane 2,551
    71-79-76--226
    + 10 65. Lindsey Wright 2,551
    70-80-76--226
    + 10 70. Katie Futcher 2,343
    75-74-78--227
    + 11 70. Louise Stahle 2,343
    76-74-77--227
    + 11 70. Jill McGill 2,343
    74-76-77--227
    + 11 73. Sung Ah Yim 2,269
    72-76-80--228
    + 12 73. Stacy Prammanasudh 2,269
    71-77-80--228
    + 12 73. Aree Song 2,157
    73-77-78--228
    + 12 76. Anna Grzebien 2,157
    75-72-82--229
    + 13 76. Jackie Gallagher-Smith 2,157
    73-76-80--229
    + 13 76. Paige Mackenzie 2,157
    74-76-79--229
    + 13 76. Linda Wessberg 2,157
    74-76-79--229
    + 13 76. Audra Burks 2,157
    70-80-79--229
    + 13 81. Lisa Strom 2,035
    75-75-80--230
    + 14 81. Birdie Kim 2,035
    74-76-80--230
    + 14 81. Alena Sharp 2,035
    71-79-80--230
    + 14 • • •





    Missed the cut





    84. Song Yi Choi

    73-78--151
    + 7 84. Joo Mi Kim

    74-77--151
    + 7 84. Haeji Kang

    72-79--151
    + 7 84. Mollie Fankhauser

    74-77--151
    + 7 84. Mikaela Parmlid

    76-75--151
    + 7 84. Soo-Yun Kang

    74-77--151
    + 7 84. Rachel Hetherington

    73-78--151
    + 7 84. Young Kim

    73-78--151
    + 7 84. Charlotte Mayorkas

    73-78--151
    + 7 84. Jeehae Lee

    75-76--151
    + 7 94. Anna Rawson

    80-72--152
    + 8 94. Irene Cho

    74-78--152
    + 8 94. Louise Friberg

    75-77--152
    + 8 94. Leta Lindley

    75-77--152
    + 8 94. Angela Jerman

    71-81--152
    + 8 94. A. Hanna-Williams

    75-77--152
    + 8 94. Karine Icher

    74-78--152
    + 8 101. Eva Dahllof

    74-79--153
    + 9 101. Se Ri Pak

    79-74--153
    + 9 101. Liselotte Neumann

    78-75--153
    + 9 101. Jiyai Shin

    72-81--153
    + 9 105. Jimin Jeong

    77-77--154
    + 10 105. Sandra Gal

    75-79--154
    + 10 105. Marcy Hart

    74-80--154
    + 10 105. Young-A Yang

    78-76--154
    + 10 105. Leah Wigger

    76-78--154
    + 10 110. Meredith Duncan

    73-82--155
    + 11 110. Kim Hall

    76-79--155
    + 11 110. Amy Yang

    75-80--155
    + 11 110. H.J. Choi

    78-77--155
    + 11 110. Na On Min

    76-79--155
    + 11 110. Eunjung Yi

    78-77--155
    + 11 110. Kate Golden

    77-78--155
    + 11 110. Carri Wood

    76-79--155
    + 11 118. Chella Choi

    76-80--156
    + 12 118. Mindy Kim

    76-80--156
    + 12 118. Michelle Ellis

    80-76--156
    + 12 118. Danielle Downey

    74-82--156
    + 12 118. Cindy Rarick

    77-79--156
    + 12 118. Michelle McGann

    80-76--156
    + 12 118. Erica Blasberg

    76-80--156
    + 12 118. Julieta Granada

    78-78--156
    + 12 126. Dorothy Delasin

    77-80--157
    + 13 126. Janell Howland

    78-79--157
    + 13 128. Brittany Lincicome

    81-77--158
    + 14 128. Samantha Richdale

    77-81--158
    + 14 130. Jeanne Cho-Hunicke

    72-87--159
    + 15 130. Jamie Hullett

    79-80--159
    + 15 130. Ha Neul Kim

    82-77--159
    + 15 130. Becky Lucidi

    77-82--159
    + 15 134. Becky Iverson

    81-79--160
    + 16 135. Beth Bader

    77-84--161
    + 17 136. Young Jo

    85-78--163
    + 19 WD. Sophie Gustafson

    WD


    WD. Na Ri Kim

    76-WD
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