Wie West opens with 81 in tough LPGA return

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Michelle Wie West struggled by a spherical of 9-over 81 in her first match in practically two years, and Inbee Park shot a 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead Thursday within the Kia Basic at Aviara.

Park had a stable, bogey-free spherical in wet, breezy circumstances within the afternoon. Fellow South Korean Hyo Joo Kim was a stroke behind, and Sophia Popov, In Gee Chun, Stephanie Meadow and Mel Reid shot 68.

The main target was on Wie West, 31, in her first occasion since giving delivery to daughter Makenna 9 months in the past. That is her first match for the reason that Ladies’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine in June 2019, when she shot 84-82.

She had hoped for a smoother return to the tour however completed the spherical tied with Yani Tseng for 142nd within the 144-player area. Wie West opened along with her solely birdie after which carded seven bogeys in her subsequent 13 holes. She made a double-bogey 6 on No. 15 and closed with a bogey on 18.

“I birdied the primary gap, in order that was good,” Wie West mentioned. “I hit numerous nice pictures at present. Simply felt like I had a pair unfortunate bounces right here and there that would have made an enormous distinction. On the identical time, I simply could not get my putter going. I simply did not make numerous assured strokes on the market at present, which I do know I can enhance for tomorrow.”

Wie West mentioned she had no excuses.

“I am actually taking numerous the positives out of it, and there have been lots. It did not seem to be it, however I am excited,” she mentioned. “I am grateful to be again out right here, grateful that I’ve one other day tomorrow to sort of get my sport prepared for ANA. I hope I make numerous birdies tomorrow.”

The ANA Inspiration, the season’s first main, is subsequent week at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, California.

Regardless that her mother and father flew over from Hawaii to assist look after her daughter, Wie West mentioned the calls for of motherhood will have an effect on the time she will be able to spend on the course.

“I imply, I might be spending an hour on this placing inexperienced, however I’ve received to move again and do bathtub time now,” she mentioned. “So positively priorities are there, are totally different, and that is simply sort of … I imply, I had an enormous smile on my face all day at present as a result of life is sweet. I am out right here taking part in once more; I’ve a gorgeous daughter.”

Wie West was bothered by a hand damage in 2019 and mentioned she considered retiring, till discovering out she was going to have a woman. She is married to Jonnie West, director of basketball operations for the Golden State Warriors and son of basketball nice Jerry West.

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