PALM DESERT, Calif. – Hands on her hips as she surveyed a situation that could have wrecked her round Friday, Michelle Wie noticed dozens of bees hovering over a desert bush with her ball nestled against the root.

She asked for a free drop, stated her case, and the kid got her way.

“One day I watched TV – it was a very rare occasion for me – and I saw this one player, he was in a bush, and he had all of these fire ants in the bush and he got relief,” the 16-year-old Wie said. “I remembered that, and I asked the rules official if I can get relief because I’m allergic to bees.”

Doing her homework paid off.

The birdies and bees carried her to a career-low 65 in the Samsung World Championship, and into the final group going into the weekend of her professional debut. Wie was two shots behind Grace Park, who had a 6-under 66 after recovering from a four-putt double bogey.

Ace helps Baird open two-shot lead

LAS VEGAS – Briny Baird had an “accidental” hole-in-one Friday on his way to a 5-under 66 and a two-shot lead midway through the Michelin Championship.

Two courses, the par-72 TPC at Summerlin, and the par-71 TPC at The Canyons, were used the first two days. The final two rounds will be played at Summerlin.

Baird, one stroke in front beginning his day at The Canyons, was 15 under through two rounds.

Tour rookie Ryan Moore, the 2004 NCAA and U.S. Amateur champion and 2005 college player of the year out of UNLV, birdied six of his first nine holes at The Canyons and finished with an 8-under 63 that pulled him into a five-way tie for second.

Masters and PGA champion Phil Mickelson failed to make the cut, which came at 6 under. He followed his opening 67 with a 71 to finish at 5-under 138.

Haas, Hatalsky, Smyth share first-round lead

SPRING, Texas – Jay Haas got off to a fast start in his bid to win consecutive Champions Tour events, shooting a 7-under 65 on Friday for a share of the first-round lead with Des Smyth and Morris Hatalsky in the Administaff Small Business Classic.

The 51-year-old Haas, still active on the PGA Tour, won the Greater Hickory Classic on Sunday in North Carolina for his first victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Haas, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour who will receive the U.S. Golf Association’s 2006 Bob Jones Award for distinguished sportsmanship, had an eagle and five birdies in his bogey-free round on the Augusta Pines course. He eagled the par-5 second hole and played the back nine in 5-under 31 with birdies on Nos. 10-13 and 18. “It’s a relaxed feeling for me,” Haas said. “Obviously, I’m playing well so I have an attitude to be patient and let it happen.”

Smyth, a two-time winner this year, also had a bogey-free round. He made 35- and 25-foot birdie putts on Nos. 10 and 11.

“The highlight of my round was the start of the back side,” Smyth said.

“I didn’t take a good second shot on either of them and I came away with birdies.”

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