LYTHAM ST ANNES (England) • Michelle Wie was "devastated" after a long-standing hand injury forced her to pull out during the first round of the Women's British Open yesterday.
Playing in frequent rain showers, the 28-year-old former American prodigy who won the HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore in March, was on seven over after 12 holes before deciding she could not continue.
"I've been doing everything humanly possible to get my hand healthy enough to play this week," she said on Twitter. "But it wasn't enough. I gave it my all today, but I couldn't stand the pain any longer.
"I felt if I kept pushing it I could make it even worse. But I'm devastated to have to pull out mid-round."
Royal Lytham and St Annes has not been a happy hunting ground for Wie. As a 16-year-old, she fell foul of the rules in a bunker at the Women's British Open and incurred a two-shot penalty.
Her best finish in the only British Major is joint-third, on her debut as a 15-year-old at Royal Birkdale in 2005 and at Kingsbarns in Scotland 12 months ago.
She ended a four-year trophy drought in Singapore for only her fifth LPGA Tour win and had a minor uptick in form that ended with her joint-10th finish in May at the US Women's Open, the only Major that she won in 2014.
Last week, she missed the cut at the Ladies Scottish Open.
Her withdrawal was a major blow for another former US Open champion Paula Creamer. The American, the first alternate, was hoping someone would pull out before tee-off to allow her into the field.
Minjee Lee of Australia soared to a seven-under 65 for the clubhouse lead, with an eagle on the par-five 15th and six birdies. The world No. 8's only blemish came at the par-four 17th.
Ariya Jutanugarn, the world No. 1 and 2016 champion, had a see-saw start - a birdie on the par-three first and a double bogey on the par-four second - but steadied herself with three birdies on the inward nine to finish on 71.
England's Georgia Hall (67) was two behind the lead while world No. 6 Feng Shanshan of China was on 71 among the early finishers.
WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN
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