Wie to open with Prammanasudh at Match Play

GLADSTONE, N.J. – Michelle Wie splashed her way around the course, determined to get in a full practice round for the Sybase Match Play Championship.

“I played 18 holes, so that’s good in the rain,” said Wie, seeded eighth in the 64-player event that begins Thursday at Hamilton Farm Golf Club. “I was pretty proud of myself.”

The 20-year-old Stanford student is set to open play against 50th-seeded Stacy Prammanasudh. Wie won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico in November for her first LPGA title and has two top-6 finishes in six events this year.

“I’m just trying to become the best player I can be,” said Wie, trying to fill the void left by the retirements of Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam. “I’m working as hard as I can to win tournaments and to play well and to be that dominant player. Everyone is vying for that spot now and everyone is working extra hard.”

The top 32 seeds selected their opponents in a blind draw Tuesday.

Top-ranked Jiyai Shin will face South Korean compatriot Kyeong Bae. Shin took over the top spot when Ochoa retired three weeks ago after the Tres Marias Championship.

“Match play is fun, but if you lose, you go home,” Shin said.

Second-seeded Ai Mayazato, the Japanese star who has won three of the first six events of the season, will open against Jeong Jang. Third-seeded Suzann Pettersen drew Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, and fourth-seeded Yani Tseng will play Wendy Ward.

Hamilton Farm also was the site of match-play events in 2005 and 2006. Marisa Baena won in 2005, and Brittany Lincicome took the 2006 title, beating Wie, Ochoa and Inkster in the final three matches. In 2007 at Wykagyl in the tour’s last 64-player, match-play event, Seon Hwa Lee beat Miyazato in the final.

Lincicome, coming off a playoff loss to Se Ri Pak on Sunday in Mobile, Ala., in the rain-shortened Bell Micro LPGA Classic, will open against Beatriz Recari.

Pak will play Azahara Munoz.

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