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Scorecard error costly for Wie

From the Associated Press

Michelle Wie finished the third round of the State Farm Classic at Springfield, Ill., alone in second Saturday -- then was disqualified for failing to immediately sign her scorecard a day earlier.

Wie was playing her best golf of the year, finishing off a five-under-par 67 to get to 17 under for the tournament, one stroke behind Yani Tseng.

That’s when Wie was disqualified by LPGA officials, who said they’d learned during play Saturday from tournament volunteers about the 18-year-old’s mistake.

“I don’t know why or how it happened,” said Wie, who had been crying moments earlier. She took no questions before leaving the clubhouse at Panther Creek Country Club.

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Sue Witters, the LPGA’s director of tournament competitions, disqualified Wie in a small office in an LPGA trailer at the golf course after asking her what had happened.

Wie said that after she finished her round Friday, she left the tent where players sign their scorecards and was chased down by some of the tournament volunteers working in the tent who pointed out she hadn’t signed.

Wie returned to the tent and signed the card.

“I thought it would be OK,” she said.

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But Wie, according to Witters, had already walked outside the roped-off area around the tent. At that point, the mistake was final.

Witters said she and other tour officials didn’t learn about the error from volunteers until well after Wie teed off Saturday. They let her finish the round, then took her to the office where she and her caddie, Tim Vickers, were informed of the ruling.

Wie opened with a five-under 67 and followed with rounds of 65 and 67 -- though the last two won’t count.

Tseng shot a six-under-par 66 on Saturday to take the lead from Christin Kim, who entered the day atop the leaderboard. Tseng is at 18-under 198.

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Kim shot a 73, finishing the day in a tie for eighth place, six behind Tseng. With Wie’s disqualification, Katie Futcher finished the day in third place at 16 under. She shot 66.

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Second-round leader Nick Flanagan birdied the final hole to join Gavin Coles in first place after three rounds at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.

Flanagan, who shared the second-round lead with Richard S. Johnson, shot a one-under 69 and Coles a 68 to get to 11-under 199.

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Johnson also birdied the 18th hole to shoot even-par 70, tied with Jon Mills (64), George McNeill (66) and Ken Duke (68) a stroke behind the leaders.

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R.W. Eaks shot a nine-under 63 to take a three-stroke lead over Gene Jones (67) and Loren Roberts (65) after the second round of the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship at Blaine, Minn.

Eaks is at 16-under 128, the best two-round score on tour this year. First-round leader Dana Quigley (70) is four shots back at 12 under.

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Kevin Marsh of Henderson, Nev., shot a two-under 70 and leads the 109th Southern California Golf Assn. Amateur Championship by three shots heading into today’s final round at Somis.

Marsh, who is at six-under 210, is three shots in front of 2004 SCGA Amateur champion Tim Hogarth (69) of Northridge and Austin Graham (69) of San Clemente.


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