INCHEON, South Korea – Michelle Wie made her first cut in a professional men's tournament Friday after shooting a 3-under-par 69 in the Asian Tour's SK Telecom Open.
Wie finished at 5-under 139 after two rounds and was tied for 17th at the Sky 72 Golf Club course, six strokes behind co-leaders Iain Steel of Malaysia (66) and Prom Meesawat of Thailand (64). The cut was set at even-par 144.
"It's just wonderful. Great. I feel really, really happy," Wie said. "Now I want play well tomorrow. It's not over yet."
The Hawiian-born teenager becomes the second woman to make the cut at a men's tournament in South Korea; LPGA star Se Ri Pak finished tied for 10th in the lower-tier KPGA Tour SBS Pro-Golf Championship in 2003.
Wie improved on her opening round of 70 with a near flawless display Friday, dropping just one bogey on the 16th against four birdies.
"My putting was good," she said. "Yesterday was pretty good, but today was better. I was more confident today."
The SK Telecom Open is Wie's eighth start in a men's professional event.
She played in four PGA Tour events and has also competed on the Japan, Nationwide and Canadian tours, missing the 36-hole cut in all seven tournaments.
Since turning professional last year when she turned 16, Wie has missed the cut in the PGA's Casio World Open and Sony Open.
"In the future, I still want to challenge the PGA Tour and make the top-ten," Wie said.
Annika Sorenstam, the top women's player in the world, became the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour when she missed the cut at the 2003 Colonial, shooting rounds of 71 and 74. She has played in men's Skins Games the last two years.
No woman has made the cut on the PGA Tour since Babe Zaharias at the 1945 Tucson Open.
Two years ago, Britain's Laura Davies was given a sponsor's exemption to the ANZ Championship, jointly sponsored by the men's European Tour and Australasian PGA, the first woman to get one on either tour. In the modified Stableford system of scoring, Davies missed the cut with a two-day total of minus-13 points — 40 points behind the second-round leader.
Both of Wie's parents were born in South Korea, and her visit has generated intense media coverage and large galleries following her on the course.
"I'm really happy to make the cut in Korea, and I had such big galleries," she said. "Plus I really love children and there were lots of young fans here today."
Galleries of at least a thousand people gathered around each hole she played and police had to control traffic clogging a nearby expressway that passes the Sky 72 course as onlookers cheered her bunker shot over the bluff on the 16th.
"I really enjoy that kind of thing," Wie said. "Police officers came to the people who stopped their cars and told them to move. The gallery was crowded and they made so much noise. It made me laugh a bit."
When she fired her fairway shot on the 220-yard 3rd, a toddler in a flowery dress shouted "on-ni (big sister) fighting!" as Wie strode by.