LPGA TourJuly 9, 2015

Wie, covered in kinesiology tape, shot two over in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open

LANCASTER, Pa. - Michelle Wie's difficult, injury-plagued year continued Thursday as she posted a disappointing two-over-par 72 at Lancaster Country Club in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open. While she saw glimmers of hope in her opening effort to defend the Open title she won last year at Pinehurst, it was six strokes behind the early leaders. Playing with physio-tape on her bursitis-rack left hip and with her left ankle heavily taped, Wie made four bogeys and two birdies as she found the thick, wet rough on seven of her tee shots, hitting only 11 greens. Still, she was upbeat. "Really close," she said about the state of her game. "Just a couple of shots here and there. I couldn't get my irons as close as I wanted to. Made a lot of good par saves -- kind of a mediocre round -- but at the same time just a lot of good feelings, and I'm excited about the rest of the tournament."

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Wie has only one top-20 finish this year and since withdrawing from the Kingsmill Championship because of her hip in May she has missed two cuts in three events. After winning her first major last year, expectations were high for 2015 and perhaps this will be the tournament that kick-starts her season. "It was awesome" she said about being introduced as the defending champion on the first tee. And, like all of the players, she was blown away at the large, enthusiastic galleries. "The crowds were amazing," she said. "Great golf course. It's pretty exciting. It's pretty cool. I definitely feel like I'm in there," she said. "I think I held it together today."

As for her hip? "Wasn't too bad," she said. "I definitely get moments, but it's definitely getting better." She'll need something under par on Friday to truly get in the mix going into the weekend. But with overnight rain expected on top of the eight inches that has fallen here in the last month, an already soft and long golf course is going to play even longer. And that should benefit the long hitters -- like Wie.

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