By Larry Fine
BEDMINSTER, New Jersey (Reuters) – Michelle Wie said it was a “miracle” she had finished her opening round at the U.S. Women’s Open on Thursday, where she took the golfing equivalent of a time out for treatment on a painful neck sprain.
Wie, who had her neck massaged on course, contrived a makeshift ice pack after fishing out ice cubes from a tee-side cooler, and trailed her caddie keeping a hand on her golf bag for balance at Trump National.
The 2014 champion, who initially hurt her neck at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship two weeks ago, laughed the laugh of a winner after her birdie putt dropped into the cup at the 18th for a happy ending and a one-over-par 73.
Wie initially hurt her neck at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship two weeks ago.
“I was so happy to be able to tee it up today. I didn’t hit a single golf ball since KPMG. Didn’t hit a single shot on the golf course here,” Wie told reporters after finishing following a long thunderstorm delay.
“I knew I needed a small miracle and I was excited, so giddy playing today.”
Wie said she had felt alright until returning after the 125-minute weather stoppage.
The 27-year-old from Hawaii called a rules official over at the par-three 14th and was ready to pull out, but physios arrived and, granted 15 minutes for treatment, she was able to carry on.
“I’m proud of myself and my caddie for keeping me in there,” said Wie after shooting even par over the last four holes in the rain. “I positioned myself OK. Three more days to go, so I’m excited about that.”
Her good friend fellow American Danielle Kang, the most recent major winner after claiming the Women’s PGA Championship for her first LPGA Tour win, matched Wie with a 73 to stand seven behind clubhouse leader Shanshan Feng of China.
(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Andrew Both)