Birdies prove the right medicine for Wie


While some cursed yesterday's rain delay, Michelle Wie was thankful for the break.

"I feel really stupid saying this," said Wie, "but I ate too much. Going out in the heat and walking I think it was causing a little bit of indigestion."

Playing through the discomfort, Wie was even par on an up-and-down front nine. The rain delay came when she was at the turn.

"If it wasn't for that siren, I think I might have quit," Wie said. "After coming into the clubhouse, I was shaking. It was horrible."

Wie relaxed - and digested - during the 52-minute delay and returned to the No. 10 tee a bit more refreshed. An immediate birdie steadied her further.

"Right when I made the birdie I felt better," Wie said, "so I guess birdies are the best cure for the worst stomachaches."

Wie got two more birdies for a 3-under-par 69 and a four-way tie for eighth. The 15-year-old from Hawaii made waves when she became the first amateur to be invited to the LPGA Championship.

Minicam crews from CBS Sports and the Golf Channel and one of the largest fan contingents of the day followed Wie. This is her fourth tour event of the season, her highest finish being a second at the SBS Open in February.

Among Wie's large following was a considerable crowd of younger fans.

"We think it's really amazing to see that a 15-year-old can hit as well as people who have been doing this all their lives," Christy Snyder, 13, of Bel Air, a self-proclaimed Wie fan, said.

"Yeah, and she's our age too," added younger sister Ashley.

A large number of girls trailed rookie Paula Creamer, who saw fans sporting her signature style.

"There were a lot more girls wearing pink and ribbons in their hair," said Creamer, 18, who finished the day tied for fourth. "It seems like they're all just getting started and it's nice to know they're watching us."

Happy homecoming

This weekend's tournament signaled a happy homecoming for golfer Tina Barrett. The native of Baltimore was at an advantage yesterday, having used her home base to play the course in a couple of Pro-Am tournaments in recent years although most of her competitors were seeing it for the first time. Despite her preparation, Barrett finished at 1-over.

Barrett is staying with family while in the area and expects her family to attend today's second round.

An even happier homecoming awaited Liselotte Neumann. A native of Sweden, her first and most notable LPGA win was in Baltimore County in 1988 at the U.S. Women's Open. Neumann has gone on to become a consistent figure on the LPGA Tour and finished the day tied for 11th at 2-under.

Weathering the storm

Despite the heat and downpours, fans did not seem to mind the weather. "You didn't even feel the heat. It was great," said Monica Birn of Delaware.

Even so, local paramedics were on hand to attend to any first-aid emergencies. "Keeping people here hydrated all day long is what keeps people from having heat-related issues," said Judy Hinch, an emergency medical technician with the Aberdeen police department. "We've been passing out water all day."

Still, many complained that there was not enough water available and sought refuge in the air-conditioned first-aid trailer or pro shop.

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