Hawaii’s Michelle Wie West misses cut in LPGA return

Sports

CARLSBAD, CA – MARCH 26: Michelle Wie West tees off the 4th hole during the Round Two of the KIA Classic at the Aviara Golf Club on March 26, 2021 in Carlsbad, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Hawaii’s Michelle Wie West missed the cut Friday in her first tournament in nearly two years while Inbee Park headed into the weekend still holding a one-stroke lead in the Kia Classic.

Wie West shot a 2-over 74 at Aviara, an improvement of seven strokes from her opening-round 81 to finish at 11-over 155. She had two birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.

Park carded a 3-under 69 for a two-round total of 9-under 155 and a one-stroke lead over Sophia Popov, who shot 68 for the second straight day. Mel Reid carded a 70 and was three strokes off the lead. Hyo Joo Kim was 5 under after a 72, and Wei-Ling Hsu carded 69 to reach 4 under.

Wie West, 31, was playing for the first time since giving birth to daughter Makenna nine months ago. It was her first tournament since the Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine in June 2019, when she shot 84-82.

She said being rusty coupled with Thursday’s rain and wind made it “tough to get back into it. But a lot to learn from the last couple days. I like that today was a lot more consistent than yesterday. Obviously still not where I want it to be, but a lot of progress, and that’s the best thing. If I can improve by seven strokes every single day, I’ll take it.”

Park. the 20-time tour winner with seven major titles, had four birdies and got to 10 under before her only bogey, on the par-4 seventh, which was her 16th hole.

“I hit good shots, and it’s just weird on these greens, because I hit the shots really close and I don’t make the birdie putt, but I kind of hit it to 15, 20 feet and I make those birdie putts,” she said. “The holes I made today is pretty much I made probably 10- to 20-footers. But coming in last three holes I missed probably inside five, six feet. So it’s just greens that really need patience.

“I played good throughout the day today, struck the ball well, hit a lot of greens, gave myself a lot of opportunities, so happy with the round.”

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