By Larry Fine
BEDMINSTER, New Jersey (Reuters) – Former champion Michelle Wie, who battled through a neck injury to finish her opening round at the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National on Thursday, withdrew from the championship on Friday.
Wie, the 2014 winner, withdrew on the 11th hole, her second hole of the day in a rainy start to the second round, which was delayed to allow 39 players to finish their first round in the weather-interrupted opening day of the championship.
The 27-year-old from Hawaii had said it was a “miracle” she had finished her opening round, where she took the golfing equivalent of a time out for treatment on her neck.
Wie, who had her neck massaged on course, contrived a makeshift ice pack after fishing ice cubes out of a tee-side cooler, and trailed her caddie keeping a hand on her golf bag for balance.
The 2014 champion, who initially hurt her neck at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship two weeks ago, birdied the 18th to post a first-round score of one-over 73.
“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 a 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.
Heavy rain greeted the players early on Friday with forecasts of possible thundershowers later in the day.
China’s Shanshan Feng was the leader after posting a six-under 66 in calm conditions early on Thursday, one shot ahead of South Korean Amy Yang and two ahead of world number one Ryu So-yeon and former number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand.
(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Mark Heinrich)