Wie comes up aces

Michelle Wie of the U.S. drives off on the 11th tee during the Championship Pro-Am at the Canadian...

Michelle Wie of the U.S. drives off on the 11th tee during the Championship Pro-Am at the Canadian Women's Open golf tournament at St. Charles Country Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba, August 25, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Greenslade

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Michelle Wie authored two of the signature shots of the day and those highlights helped propel her to the top of the leaderboard after the opening round of the 2010 CN Canadian Women's Open at St. Charles Country Club.

Wie sent a tremor across the grounds when she fired a hole-in-one on the Par-3 11th hole that vaulted her into first place and the 20-year-old Hawaiian didn't look back after that.

On the 183-yard hole, Wie pulled out and 5-iron and hit a beautiful draw that landed on the green and rolled right into the cup for the eagle ace.

"It was the first time I actually saw it go in, in a tournament," said Wie, noting it was the eighth hole-in-one of her career and second on the LPGA Tour. "It was surreal. I couldn't believe that it actually happened."

Wie wasn't done there.

Despite making a bogey on 12, she came back with birdies on 13 and 14 and then created additional buzz on the 17th hole, when she drained a shot out of the bunker beyond the green for her 6th birdie of the round.

"It was an uphill lie and I just really thought I could make it," Wie explained. "I went up there, really thought about it, just trusted it and it kind of did what I thought it would do."

Wie actually lipped out her birdie putt from the fringe on 18, but was encouraged by the round overall.

"I feel like I definitely needed this and it's always a work in progress," said Wie. "Even when I was out there, I didn't really think about my score and just went out there and tried to hit every shot as best I could. I'm going out there (Friday) and it's a whole new day. It's a new beginning, so I'll try and go out there and try to have the same mentality I had (Thursday) and just start fresh again."

The last time Wie held the lead after the opening round was at the 2005 U.S. Women's Open in Cherry Hills Village, Colo., so she wasn't about to break into a premature celebration.

"It's a long time ago," said Wie, who currently sits 20th on the money list and is chasing her second career LPGA victory. "It's pretty cool (to be leading), but it means nothing really. Today is over and done with.

"We still have three more days of the tournament, so I've just really got to focus and try to play better every day."

Sarah Kemp of Australia is three shots off the pace after shooting a solid 4-under 68 that was good for the clubhouse lead before Wie made the charge in the afternoon.

"My putter was the 4-under, I holed some really good putts and I just kept it in play," said Kemp. "The rough's pretty long and I hit a lot of fairways. And yeah, it just happened."

Defending champion Suzann Pettersen -- who is enjoying an excellent season but seeking her first victory of 2010 -- sits alone in third spot after shooting 69.

"The conditions are tough," said Pettersen. "The rough is penalizing. But I hit my driver really good. I made my fair share of putts and I think I hit 17 greens. Just feeling good with my game."

Jane Park, Meredith Duncan, Pernilla Lindberg, Ilhee Lee, Kristy McPherson, Karen Stupples, Jiyai Shin and Amy Hung are tied for fourth at 2-under 70. Paula Creamer and 15-year-old Alexis Thompson are among the group of 12 players tied for 12th at 71.

CHIP SHOTS: Of the 14 Canadians in the field, Seema Sadekar of Toronto delivered the low round for Canucks with a 73. Sherri Steinhauer, who captured the 1992 du Maurier Classic when it was held at St. Charles, also shot 73 ... A crowd of 12,000 took in the action on a sun-soaked but windy day at St. Charles Country Club on Thursday. ... Round 2 gets under way at 8 a.m. Friday.

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca


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