RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) - Angel Yin was asked if there was a player she wanted to meet this week at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, but was too shy to approach.
“Michelle Wie,” said Yin, the 15-year-old high school freshman who shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday to finish a stroke behind her idol after the first round.
“If she sat next to me and said ‘Hi’ to me, I’d probably run.”
The 24-year-old Wie laughed when told about Yin’s response.
“It’s crazy,” Wie said. “These girls are starting to make me feel really old.”
Wie played a four-hole stretch in 5 under, showing off all the talent that made her a star in her early teens and helped attract players like Yin to golf.
“I just felt comfortable out there,” Wie said.
Wie ended up a stroke behind leader Shanshan Feng, lipping out a 3-foot par putt on the par-3 17th and settling for par and a 67 on the par-5 18th.
“I’ll take it,” Wie said. “I’ll take a 67 here.”
Feng shot a 66 in perfect morning conditions at Mission Hills in the first major championship of the year. The 24-year-old Chinese player had seven birdies and a bogey.
“This morning, it was playing easier because there was no wind,” Feng said.
Wie birdied the par-5 ninth and par-4 10th, made a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 11th and moved into a tie for the lead with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 12th.
She got up-and-down for par from near a steep face in a bunker on the par-4 15th, hitting to 1½ feet with her left foot almost 2 feet above her right.
“Just was aggressive on the holes I needed to be and conservative on the other holes,” Wie said
Wie is making her 12th start in the tournament. She was ninth in 2003 at age 13, fourth the following year and tied for third at 16 in 2006.