Michelle Wie took another step toward a possible Masters invitation.
Wie made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to edge Will Claxton, 1-up, in her first match at the men's Amateur Public Links on Wednesday.
"I'm very relieved I got through today," Wie said. "It was really tough out there. It felt good after I made that putt. I have a lot more days to go, so hopefully I can keep that trend going."
Wie, 15, will be a high school junior this fall. She is the first female to qualify for a men's U.S. Golf Association championship. She is playing in the APL because the winner traditionally gets an invitation to play at Augusta.
Wie still has a long way to go. She would have to win five more matches before getting the coveted invitation.
"Tomorrow's a whole new day," she said when asked about her upcoming match.
Wie advances to play C.D. Hockersmith of Richmond, Ind., in the second round on Thursday. The third round of match play follows in the afternoon.
Hockersmith said he is looking at the match as an opportunity.
"This would be great to beat her, to give me some confidence," said Hockersmith, a junior at Ball State.
Wie had to be on top of her game against Claxton, a 23-year-old who recently graduated from Auburn. He was a quarterfinalist in the APL a year ago and didn't buckle despite a large gallery that cheered Wie from the start.
Not everybody was rooting for Wie.
Still, the loudest roar of the day came when Wie made her putt on the final hole.
"She did an incredible job," Claxton said. "I didn't play bad out there. I hit a lot of good iron shots. . . . Her short game is incredible."