Friday, March 16, 2018

Confident Wie grinds out 70 on Day 1 

By Randall Mell
PHOENIX – Michelle Wie scrambled her way into early contention Thursday at the LPGA Tour's Bank of Hope Founders Cup in a bid to win back-to-back titles.
Cold, blustery winds couldn’t cool her hot putter.
With a 2-under-par 70, she is three shots off the lead at Marriott Wildfire Golf Club.
“On days like this, I just feel really proud of myself, for staying in there,” Wie said.
Wie drove it in the woods at the second hole, but she set the day’s tone carving her way back into play and then getting and down for par, holing a 15-foot putt.
“I just scrambled really well,” she said. “Proud of myself for grinding in there and putting myself in a good position.
Wie won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore in the LPGA’s last event two weeks ago. It was her fifth tour title. She won holing a 36-foot putt on the final hole to break out of a four-way tie for the lead.
For so long, her putting was the weakest part of her game, but it’s becoming a strength. She entered this week eighth on tour in putts per greens in regulation.
“I definitely feel more confidence, every putt I hit, every shot I hit,” Wie said. “I just want to build more confidence on that.”

The last time World Golf Hall of Famer Colin Montgomerie walked outside the ropes at a professional golf tournament was when he was 10 years old.
It was the 1973 Open at Royal Troon won by Tom Weiskopf.
Monty was back outside the ropes on Thursday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup following Paula Creamer.
He is in town working with Creamer’s new coach – fellow Scot Kevin Craggs - at Troon North and it was his off day. 
“Kevin said come down and watch the ladies golf,” said Montgomerie when caught up with him beside the second tee box. “I wanted to see what it is like compared what we do on the Champions Tour and the way the girls play.”
Even after just a few holes, he left awfully impressed.   
“I’m very impressed with all the fans here,” said the 31-time winner on the European Tour. “The whole set up is great. I walked past the player area, the media centre, the range facility. I think it’s fantastic. I’m really, really impressed.”
He was also impressed with the quality of golf.
“According to Kevin, they (LPGA players) hit the ball more on the middle of the club face than any of the men’s tours do,” said Montgomerie. “It’s a much more consistent shot into the greens, they don’t make mistakes. It’s interesting to see.”





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