Michelle Wie withdrew from the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Thursday after shooting 14 over through 16 holes, saying she 'tweaked' the wrist injury that has kept her off the LPGA Tour since February.
The move has drawn a chorus of criticism from golf bloggers and their readers that an LPGA Tour rule barring non-tour members for a year if they shoot 88 or higher prompted Wie to withdraw, not an injury.
"Wie stood perilously close to posting an 88 ... when she withdrew," observed TravelGolf.com's Chris Baldwin, who went on to ask why Wie is already talking about competing in next week's LPGA Championship if she is injured.
"If your wrist is so hurt that you cannot play two more holes, do you immediately start talking about playing 72 the very next week?" Baldwin wrote.
For her part, Wie has rejected speculation that she withdrew because of the tour's rule.
"I had issues with my wrist," she told. "Shooting 88 is not what I think about."
Wie received a sponsor's exemption to play in the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika. The tournament's namesake, Annika Sorenstam, has also been sidelined with an injury but had a more impressive return to competition, shooting an even-par 72.
"I'm extremely happy with my round considering the circumstances," Sorenstam said.
Rookie Angela Park is the first round leader at 6 under. Lorena Ochoa and four others are tied for second.
Wie, whose wrist was bandaged throughout the day, started her round as badly as she finished. She was seven over par after the first five holes and triple bogeyed No. 14.
On her final hole, No. 7, Wie hit her approach far past the pin for one last bogey. Greg Nared, Wie's manager, reportedly stopped her on way to the tee. They spoke briefly before calling an LPGA Tour official to end the round.
"We're not going to play anymore," Wie said, then drove with her parents and caddie to the clubhouse. Wie had not played since missing the cut at the PGA Tour Sony Open.
When asked to comment on the withdrawal, tournament host Sorenstam said: "It's a bummer. I'm sorry for her."
May 31, 2007
Anyone looking back at the final scores of the 2009 Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's will almost certainly come to the wrong conclusion that this was a comfortable three-shot win for Catriona Matthew. It was anything but as the seemingly imperturbable Scot struggled to hit a fairway throughout the final round and was only rescued by some superb recovery shots and a bunch of astonishing long putts.
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