Wie, Ochoa playing in anonymity this week
Friday, April 30, 2010
MORELIA, Mexico – If Michelle Wie leads in Mexico and Tiger misses the cut, does anyone see the LPGA? The answer is no, because unless you live in Mexico, this tournament isn’t on TV. And there’s only one American journalist on sight (yours truly). Hola.
Only the overly-dedicated LPGA fans watched live scoring during the Tres Marias Championship. And even then the LPGA got it wrong. Wie finished at 5-under 68 on Friday and sits at 12 under for the tournament. Live scoring missed a bogey on the 14th and had her at 13 under for quite some time. She also bogeyed the last two holes, which included a three-putt on the 18th.
Still, in this wind, it was a solid day for Wie, who had seven birdies in her first 12 holes. Her eighth birdie of the day came at the par-5 16th, where she smashed a drive downwind 376 yards. She then hit an 8-iron over the green and into some gravel. Her chip shot came out hot and rolled over the green and into the bunker. She holed out for a ho-hum birdie.
Wie credits her good vibes in Mexico to the fun-loving atmosphere. “A good attitude over here, relaxed,” she said. The LPGA sophomore won her first professional tournament last November in Guadalajara.
While Wie lit up the front side in 31, only a smattering of fans, at some points less than 20, watched her play. Those who dared to actually walk Tres Marias rather than find a bleacher, followed Lorena Ochoa.
Wie sits one shot in front of another long hitter, Brittany Lincicome, and the accurate Ai Miyazato heading into the weekend. Ochoa remains five shots back in her last event before retirement.
“I’ll take it with these conditions and all the emotions I’m going through and the adrenaline,” Ochoa said. “It has been a little bit tough. I need to pay a lot of attention for the weekend, just between the wind and distance control.”
More people would like to pay attention this weekend to what is shaping up to be a star-studded Ochoa farewell. If only they could see it.