Michelle Wie accomplished something in her ancestral homeland she had failed to do in seven previous tries elsewhere: The American teen made the cut at a men's tournament.
With huge crowds cheering for the player they cherish as ''big sister," Wie was at 5-under-par 139 after two rounds, tied for 17th in the Asian Tour's SK Telecom Open in Incheon, South Korea. She shot a 3-under 69 in the second round yesterday to make the cut by five strokes.
No woman has made the cut on the PGA Tour since Babe Zaharias at the 1945 Tucson Open.
''It's just wonderful. Great. I feel really, really happy," the 16-year-old said. ''Now I want to play well tomorrow. It's not over yet."
When she fired her fairway shot on the third hole, a toddler in a dress shouted, ''On-ni [big sister] fighting!" as Wie strode by.
Today, heavy rain forced officials to postpone the third round until tomorrow morning.
The SK Telecom Open is the eighth men's professional event for Wie. She has played in four PGA Tour events and has competed on the Japan, Nationwide, and Canadian tours, missing the 36-hole cut in all seven tournaments.
''In the future, I still want to challenge the PGA Tour and make the top 10," Wie said.
Galleries of at least 1,000 people gathered around each hole she played, and police controlled traffic clogging an expressway that passes along the Sky 72 Golf Club course as onlookers cheered her bunker shot over a bluff on the 16th.
''I really enjoy that kind of thing," Wie said. ''Police officers came to the people who stopped their cars and told them to move. The gallery was crowded and they made so much noise. It made me laugh a bit."
The Hawiian-born teenager became the second woman to make the cut at a men's tournament in South Korea. LPGA star Se Ri Pak finished tied for 10th in the lower-tier KPGA Tour SBS Pro-Golf Championship in 2003.
Wie improved on her opening-round 70 with a nearly flawless round yesterday, making four birdies and one bogey. Midway through the tournament, she was six strokes behind co-leaders Iain Steel of Malaysia (66) and Prom Meesawat of Thailand (64).
''My putting was good," Wie said. ''Yesterday was pretty good, but today was better. I was more confident today."
Annika Sorenstam, the top women's player in the world, became the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour when she missed the cut at the Colonial in 2003, shooting 71-74.
LPGA -- Angela Stanford used strong iron play to take a one-stroke lead in the Franklin (Tenn.) American Mortgage Championship, shooting a 5-under 67.
Stanford, who shared the lead with Beth Bader after the first round, had five birdies and an eagle in the second round, but made two bogeys.
Stanford, who led wire-to-wire in her lone Tour victory in 2003 at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, has strung together consecutive rounds in the 60s for the first time this season for a 12-under 132 total.
Patricia Meunier-Lebouc (66) was 11 under, and Sophie Gustafson, who carded a career-low 63, was 10 under. Karrie Webb (68), Karin Sjodin (64), and Wendy Ward (66) were tied at 135, and Cristie Kerr (69) was among four tied at 136.
Champions -- Scott Simpson got off to a fast start in his bid for his first Tour victory, shooting a 5-under 67 for a share of the lead with Tom McKnight, Keith Fergus, and Mark McNulty in the Regions Charity Classic in Hoover, Ala.
Hale Irwin, the Tour's career victory leader, birdied the final three holes for a 68, leaving him a stroke back along with former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden, Wayne Levi, and Brad Bryant.
Dick Mast, who got into the field via Monday qualifying, had sole possession of the lead with two holes to play late in the day, but finished with a bogey and a double bogey to drop back to 69 with Bobby Wadkins and Des Smyth.
European -- David Drysdale of Scotland shot an 8-under 64 in the second round of the Italian Open in Milan to take a two-stroke lead over a group of four players.
Drysdale had nine birdies and one bogey for a 13-under 131 total, leading Soren Kjeldsen (70), Phillip Archer (67), Benn Barham (68), and Francesco Molinari (65).