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Wie 2 back after first round

By Associated Press


GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. » Being near the top of leaderboard is familiar territory for Stacy Lewis the past two years.

Week in, week out, Lewis is there and nothing changed in the opening round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

The players near Lewis aren't in their comfort zone, however, and it remains to be seen whether three-time NCAA player of the year Amanda Blumenherst, LPGA rookie leader Moriya Jutanugarn and the perplexing Michelle Wie can stay with her in the $1.5 million event.

Blumenherst and Jutanugarn shot 5-under 66 to share the lead, a stroke ahead of Lewis and two in front of Wie.

Beating Lewis is not going to be easy. The world's No. 2 player has won twice and posted eight top-10 finishes in 11 events.

"I guess you just get more confidence being there, you start trusting yourself more, but it's really cool to think how far I've come," said Lewis, who has zipped up the ranking over the past two seasons. "I wasn't even the top-ranked American this time last year, and now I'm kind of going back and forth for No. 1 in the world. It's just nice to keep that consistency going. I've had a bunch of top 10s over the last year, and that's what I'm trying to do every week."

Lewis had three tap-in birdies, including two at par 5s. She made two 20-footers. A bad drive led to her bogey.

Wie, who a decade ago made one of her first appearances on the women's tour as a 13-year-old in this event, has never lived up to expectations, winning twice since joining the tour in 2009. She has missed five of 10 cuts this year and her best finish was a tie for 28th at Ko Olina. Her other four starts have resulted in no better than a tie for 41st.

"I think nothing really goes exactly the way you plan," Wie said after making five birdies and two bogeys to tie her lowest numerical score for the season. "There may be hiccups in the way and little adjustments along the way, and I think I did that."

The biggest adjustment Wie has made is with her putting stroke. She looks like a backward inverted "L" when putting, and one has to wonder whether her back will stand up to that style. Of course, there has been criticism.

"You can't please everyone," Wie said. "I'm not going to go around my way living my life trying to please everyone because in the end it doesn't really matter. They're not the ones that are living my life. They're not the ones that ultimately are in my life. So I just am so grateful for my friends, my family and for the people inside my circle that believe in me. "

For Wie to stay close, she needs to keep her drives in the fairway.

"I mean, it's not really surprising to see Michelle play well," Lewis said. "This golf course, I am a little surprised on this course because if you can get some shots going sideways you can make some pretty big numbers. That's good. She needs those good rounds."

Blumenherst, who is married to Oakland Athletics first baseman Nate Freiman, has missed cuts in six of eight events. The former Duke star has never finished better than a tie for fifth since joining the tour in 2010 after winning at qualifying school.

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Ronin006 wrote:
My bet is on Wie finishing near the bottom again.
on June 1,2013 | 02:17AM
droid wrote:
Look for Wie to finish in the top 20 for the first time this year. She’s slowly getting better, but so is her competition.
on June 1,2013 | 02:54AM
zoomzoom65 wrote:
So, where you been? Get real, she's currently ranked 80th and usually folds after the first round. Move on!
on June 1,2013 | 04:58AM
LMO wrote:
Wie? Is she still around? Still a loser. Nothing new here.
on June 1,2013 | 05:18AM
allie wrote:
She was over hyped from the start. She will hang around as a mediocrity for a few more years though.
on June 1,2013 | 08:13AM
syhud wrote:
Said it before and I'll say it again. Wei will choke in the end.
on June 1,2013 | 05:56AM
dlum003 wrote:
Wie is still golfing professionally? Hmm, go figure
on June 1,2013 | 06:31AM
hanalei395 wrote:
Still golfing professionally? Of course. Wie still has her sponsors, and still paying her the big bucks .... Nike, Omega, Sony, Kia.
on June 1,2013 | 08:23AM
sailfish1 wrote:
That was a great marketing ploy by her father when she was young. All those big time sponsors bought into it and are still paying big bucks to her. I wouldn't be surprised if they start paring down the sponsorship money as time goes on and she is nowhere near the top in the LPGA.
on June 1,2013 | 08:47PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Great news! I hope she wins this tournament. Good fortunes to her!
on June 1,2013 | 08:57AM
omd111 wrote:
on June 1,2013 | 09:39AM
GorillaSmith wrote:
I must have missed the part where Wie did something outrageous enough to generate all these hateful posts. I wish her well.
on June 1,2013 | 11:29AM
sailfish1 wrote:
It's mostly because she started off with a lot of big talk about taking on the men in the PGA tour. Now she is in the LPGA and is nowhere near the top - I think she is ranked 80th. I also wish her well and she still is earning a decent paycheck but it has been a big disappointment.
on June 1,2013 | 08:53PM
cojef wrote:
It time for her to come through and finish in the top 10 or call it quits. You can't keep wasting your time to live in the past. You either got it or ain't.
on June 1,2013 | 03:46PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Having high end $pon$or$ ....... is not "wasting time".
on June 1,2013 | 06:05PM
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