Wie penalty protest plays out live on TV

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Michelle Wie was penalized two strokes for grounding her club in a hazard after hitting out of the water on the 11th hole in the final round of the Kia Classic at La Costa on Sunday.

Wie was notified of the penalty by LPGA rules official Doug Brecht a few holes later. At the time, she was five strokes behind leader Hee Kyung Seo.

With her right foot in the water, Wie hit her submerged ball in a spray of water, with the ball moving only a few inches onto the rough. She then let her club touch the ground, giving her a double-bogey 7.

Wie ended up with a 72 to tie for fifth at 4 under.

“It just doesn’t seem right,” Wie told Brecht on the course.

After her round, Wie went to a TV truck to review video with officials. The issue played out for 15 minutes live on Golf Channel.

“They interpreted it differently than what I felt,” Wie said. “I knew I did ground the club. At the same time I knew that I felt off-balance. I closed my eyes and hit the shot and grounded my club so I wouldn’t fall into the water while wearing a white skirt.

“I accept it,” she added, speaking with reporters a few feet off the 18th green just as Seo was about to receive her trophy. “I accept the fact that it was a penalty stroke if you ground a club. But the fact is I felt like I was off balance. That’s why I grounded the club. That’s a rule so there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Wie has run up against golf’s rule book a number of times.

In her first pro tournament, the 2005 Samsung World Championship, she took a penalty drop for an unplayable lie during her third round. At the end of the tournament, officials ruled she made her drop at the wrong place, should have taken a two-shot penalty and disqualified her for signing an incorrect card.

“It’s always the kind of thing like, ‘Oh, it always happens to me,’ ” Wie said Sunday, “but it’s Murphy’s Law, I guess.”

Asked about Wie’s troubles, Seo said: “No, I didn’t care about that.”

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