HONOLULU -- Michelle Wie signed for her highest score on the PGA Tour, one that sent her to the bottom of the leaderboard yesterday at the
Three double bogeys. Two three-putts. And late in a blustery round at Waialae, one shot was so off-line that her agent held up his leatherbound notebook to keep the ball from hitting him in the head, leaving a dent in the cover.
Unable to stop the slide in gusts up to 35 miles per hour, Wie stumbled to a 9-over-par 79 that left her with virtually no hope of becoming the first woman in 61 years to make the cut on the PGA Tour.
All that spared her from last place was Jimmy Walker, who shot 80 in the final group of a long day.
''Today it was like, 'Wow,' " she said. ''It's like, 'I can't believe I'm doing this bad.' "
And as the 16-year-old got up from her chair, she finally figured out what would make it better. ''I want some chocolate," she said.
The course played nearly 2 shots over par, so it was no picnic for anyone. Rory Sabbatini birdied five of his last seven holes for a 5-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead over David Toms, K.J. Choi, Charles Warren, and Jeff Gove. Defending champ Vijay Singh was at 71.
Many expected Wie to be somewhere around par, or at the very least with a chance to become the first female since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to make it to the weekend on the PGA Tour.
Instead, her fourth start on the PGA Tour -- and third straight appearance in the Sony Open -- quickly turned into her worst on a windswept day along the Pacific Ocean. She missed a 30-inch par putt on her third hole (No. 12), shot 42 over her first nine holes, and ended her long day by missing a 6-foot birdie.
The Kraft Nabisco Championship clarified its criteria, allowing teenage sensations Wie and Morgan Pressel to play in the LPGA Tour's first major of the year. Wie and Pressel, along with former Duke star Brittany Lang, now are eligible for the Kraft Nabisco (March 30-April 2) because all of them finished in the top five at an LPGA major last year.
The tournament previously gave exemptions to players who finished in the top 20 at the Kraft or the top 5 in the other three majors, provided they were LPGA Tour members. Pressel and Lang only earned their cards this year, and Wie is not expected to join until she finishes high school in Hawaii, where she is a junior.