Second-round 78 sends Wie home early

SOUTHPORT, England – There’s a plaque on the 16th hole at Royal Birkdale that commemorates the massive strike Arnold Palmer took from a bush with a 6-iron to win the 1961 Open Championship.

Michelle Wie came to the par-4 16th Friday sitting on the cut line and hit a 2-iron into that bush. The frantic search that followed was reminiscent of what happened a few weeks ago on the 16th at Pinehurst.

“I was really hoping I’d get a free drop (from the plaque),” said Wie, “but it was just not close enough.”

She took a drop from the bush and hit her third shot left into a greenside bunker, then two-putted for double bogey. Wie later told reporters said she was “way too upset” to read the plaque and asked media members what Palmer had done.

Unfortunately for Wie, her woes continued down the par-5 17th when she hit her tee shot left and into the fescue. She failed to get it out the first time and went on to make bogey, falling to 9 over. She then three-putted the par-5 18th after hitting it in two to end any hope of seeing the weekend.

“I got into a rhythm where I was just trying to make pars instead of going out there and trying to make birdies,” said a disappointed Wie, who shot 75-78. She posted only two birdies each day.

The 24-year-old U.S. Women’s Open champ finished runner-up at the Kraft Nabisco before winning at Pinehurst. It’s her first missed cut at the Women’s British since 2007.

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