Michelle Wie is convinced she's in the form that can capture her first tournament victory. Bogeys at the first three holes of the Women's British Open on Thursday suggested she may have to think again.
It took the teenager until the 18th to repair the damage slightly, when she launched a 170-yard 5-iron to three feet for a birdie. But her 2-over 74 left her five off the clubhouse lead with some of the other big contenders, such as Annika Sorenstam, still to go out.
"I think I still have a bit to learn about playing links golf," the 16-year-old from Hawaii said. "It was like I was half-alive, almost."
Wie, who tied for second at the Evian Masters last week, could not account for the way she started.
"It was very frustrating this morning. I just didn't get anything going. My first few tee shots weren't the greatest," she said.
Her 4-iron at the 198-yard first hole went through the green. Her chip stopped 15 feet short and she two-putted.
A greenside bunker caught her second shot at the 401-yard second and she two-putted from 20 feet.
She pulled her tee shot at the 410-yard third and finished in a bad lie, from where she laid up and then pitched to 25 feet. Again, she two-putted.
That was the story of her round, the approach shots that were not near enough to allow good birdie chances, except at the eighth where she hit a sand wedge to four feet and holed for her only other birdie.
Wie, who has been in the top five in her last four majors, dropped another stroke at the long 11th, again pulling her tee shot left into the rough. Her second found rough on the other side of the fairway from where she found a greenside bunker. Three more shots left her with a bogey six.
Wie conceded she should have adapted better to a change in conditions following rain on Wednesday.
"Your mind was so set on hitting everything low and rolling everything up and it rained yesterday so it was a little bit softer," Wie said. "I should have adapted a little bit quicker but I went out there this morning and I didn't really get anything going."
At least there was no despair in her analysis. "It's long gone now. I felt like I played very well the back nine. Although I struggled a bit, I made some great par saves," she said. "I made a great birdie at the last hole and I feel like tomorrow is going to be another day."