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Original Issue

Wie Error, Big Consequences

Michelle Wie was done in last week by one of the most arcane rules in a game rife with them. In the midst of a season that has seen her make better decisions on and off the course, Wie shot a 67 on Thursday and a 65 on Friday and was tied for second at the end of the second round of the LPGA State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill. But after turning in her scorecard on Friday, Wie was chased down by a volunteer, who pointed out that she had forgotten to sign it. Wie returned, signed and moved on, but according to rule 6-6-b., once Wie left the scoring area her card was official and the infraction irreversible, calling for a disqualification. LPGA officials learned of the breach on Saturday morning, after Wie had teed off, so they allowed her to finish the third round, during which she shot another 67 to move into sole possession of second at 17 under, a shot behind Yani Tseng. But instead of spending her Saturday night dreaming about a first-place check of $255,000 or the $155,252 second-place prize—either of which would have put Wie in the top 80 on the money list for the year and ensured her LPGA membership for 2009—she was called to a meeting with Sue Witters, the LPGA's director of tournament operations, and DQ'd. Wie came out of the meeting crying. "She was like a little kid after you tell them there's no Santa Claus," said Witters.