Wie advances with quick 6-and-5 win

LEBANON, Ohio -- Michelle Wie admitted she's thinking ahead
about possibly playing in the Masters next year.
Wie won two matches on Thursday to advance into the
quarterfinals of the men's Amateur Public Links, moving within
three wins of an invitation to Augusta National next April.
"Obviously I'm thinking about that, but I'm taking it one match
at a time," said the high school junior-to-be.
Wie, the first female to qualify for a men's USGA championship,
beat Jim Renner 3 and 1 after earlier beating C.D. Hockersmith 6
and 5.
The 6-foot girl who nearly made the cut on the PGA Tour twice
and was tied for the lead last month in the U.S. Women's Open might
be on the verge of her most stunning feat of all.
Augusta National traditionally invites the winner of the Public
Links to the Masters, and chairman Hootie Johnson has said the
all-male club would welcome Wie or any other female who qualified.
Wie believes she'll play in the Masters, sooner or later.
"I don't feel any kind of urgency," she said. "I'm just
playing. Hopefully, I'll get in one of these days. It could happen
this year, it could be next year, it could be 20 years down the
She next plays in the quarterfinals on Friday morning against
BYU junior Clay Ogden, who defeated Andrew Black of Chattanooga,
Tenn., 3 and 2. The semifinals are Friday afternoon, followed by
the 36-hole championship on Saturday.
"I was kind of joking and I actually said that I hoped I play
her," Ogden said. "And here we go."
Wie avoided an early deficit in her third match this week when
Renner missed 6-foot birdie tries on his first two holes. She took
over from there, going 3-up at the turn with an 18-foot birdie putt
at No. 9.
Renner, a junior at Johnson & Wales University in Miami and the
NAIA medalist, won two of the next three holes to cut into her
lead. But then Wie hit a low 3-iron shot from 220 yards into 15
feet and made the birdie to go 2-up.
"I'd like to see another 15-year-old girl -- or a 15-year-old in
general -- do that," Renner said. "There's not many guys in this
tournament who can hit that shot."
If that wasn't enough, she holed a flop shot from heavy rough
left of the 15th green for birdie after Renner seemingly had the
hole won with an approach to 4 feet.
"That's not your typical up-and-down," Renner said, shaking
his head. "She played it perfect. That was very impressive."
Wie closed out the match on the 17th when Renner hit his 8-iron
over the green and into a lake.
Wie has left her three match-play victims intimidated and
"She's every bit the player I've seen on TV," said
Hockersmith, who lost the first five holes. "TV makes you look a
little taller; she's definitely tall."