Sharp: Wie needs breathing room

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

Things are going to start with a bang this morning at the CN Canadian Women's Open at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.

The first group off the 10th tee at 7:10 a.m. will feature big draw Michelle Wie, the 18-year-old headline maker, Alena Sharp, Canada's top LPGA player this year, and up-and-coming amateur star Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Windsor, Que.

Wie and Sharp have been grouped before.

CONTROVERSY

Sharp played with Wie in the controversial round at the Ginn Tribute last year when Wie withdrew after 16 holes, citing a sore wrist and flirting with "Rule 88," which states any non-LPGA player who shoots 88 is banned for the rest of the year. Wie was two bogeys away from shooting 88 when she withdrew.

Sharp told Golf Digest after the round: "I think she withdrew because of the high score, definitely," and added Wie didn't show any signs during the round that her wrist hurt.

Sharp said yesterday she thinks Wie needs some breathing room when it comes to her parents' influence.

"I think she's a great kid," she said. "People don't realize it's hard when your parents are with you all the time.

'ALREADY A GREAT PLAYER'

"She's already a great player. She's going to be a really good player once she figures out what she needs to do for herself."

Sharp knows it could be a mob scene this morning.

"When I saw my pairing, I thought, 'well, my parents are going to be here and they're not going to see me much.' I played with Michelle before in South Carolina. She's playing better now, and I think that it's great for women's golf. The crowds are going to be pretty big out here in Ottawa (today) and (tomorrow). I'm looking forward to it."\


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