July 31, 2008

Eight K's For Michelle

Parker McLachlin's course-record 62 gives him the lead, Michelle Wie fails to make the cut in a men's event for the eighth time

A course record 62 made it easy for McLachlin to find a smile.

A course record 62 made it easy for McLachlin to find a smile.

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Michelle Wie failed in her eighth attempt to make the cut on the PGA Tour, shooting a second-round 80 at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open Friday. Parker McLachlin tied the course record with a 62 to take the lead into the clubhouse at 14-under par.

Wie was 1-over-par 73 Thursday as she attempted to become the first woman since World War II to make the cut on the PGA Tour. But a quintuple-bogey 9 Friday helped push her to 9-over 153 at the par-72 Montreux Golf & Country Club.

"I feel my game is a lot better. Obviously the score doesn't show it, but I know what I need to work on," Wie said. "I gave it my best today and I felt like I did a lot of good things and hopefully that outshines the ones I made mistakes on."

The 18-year-old, who was making her first PGA appearance since January 2007, had two bogeys and one birdie through her first nine holes and was within striking distance of a cut line that was hovering around even par with several golfers still on the 7,472-yard mountain course.

But she had a double bogey on her 13th hole of the day after she hit her second shot over the green into heavy rough on the 518-yard, par-5 No. 4.

With a difficult downhill lie, her chip came up short, still in the rough. Her next pitch rolled over the green into the rough again before she finally chipped onto the green and two putted.

The quintuple-bogey 9 came four holes later on the 464-yard, par-4 eighth, when she had to take two penalty strokes.

He first tee shot ended up with an unplayable lie in the trees and the second one went left into a waste area with sage brush and pine trees, where she had to take another drop and needed four more shots to reach the green. She finished with a birdie on the 626-yard, par-5 ninth.

Not since "Mildred" Babe Zaharias played at the 1945 Tucson Open has a woman made the cut on the PGA Tour.

Wie didn't know if she'd make another run at a PGA event in the future.

"I think if I played a couple (PGA events) in a row, it would be a different story. It's just hard to play one and then one maybe a year later," she said. "I think if I played eight in a row and I missed all eight, that would be a different story."

McLachlin who has five Top 25 PGA finishes this year and ranks 98th on the tour money list, birdied seven of the last 10 holes and had 11 on the day in a bogey-free round. His hot wedge play put him within 7 feet of the pin seven times -- twice inside 2 feet and once to 4 inches.

"Nothing really crazy. It was just pretty solid," McLachlin said about his round that left him at 130 after two days of play.

"Everything went pretty smoothly out there. I hit a lot of fairways, lots of greens and made a bunch of 10-footers. I mean, just kind of the way you like to draw it up," he said.

McLachlin missed a four-foot birdie attempt on the par-4 18th that would have broken the record Bill Glasson set in 2005 and Joe Ogilvie matched in 2006. His previous best on tour was a 65, though he said he shot a 63 once on the Nationwide Tour and carded a 59 at the course he represents in Hawaii, where he was born and grew up.

"I didn't know what the course record was but I caught myself thinking about 59 at No. 14. I had like about a 10-footer," said McLachlin, who had birdied six of the previous seven holes.

"I thought, 'If I birdie the last five holes I can shoot 59.' And that's just the worst thing to think. So I made par there," he said, as well as at the 15th.

With several golfers still on the course, John Merrick was in second place in the clubhouse four strokes off the lead after shooting his second straight 67 to get to 10-under 134. Bob Estes followed an opening round 69 with a 66 for a 9-under 135.