Michelle Wie was eager to put a dismal year behind her when she teed off Thursday at the Women's Australian Open, the season-opening tournament on the LPGA Tour at Royal Canberra Golf Club.

Wie, playing for the first time in Australia, said Tuesday that she has done her best to revamp her game after missing the cut in 10 of the 23 tour events she played last year as her ranking dropped into the 60s.

"2012 was probably the worst year I've ever had in my entire career," said Wie, who opened with a 1-over 74. "It was rough. One thing led to another, and it kind of snowballed."

Wie, who went pro shortly before turning 16, said her poor season made her realize she had to work harder to improve.

"I just really started from scratch," she said. "I saw (coach) David Leadbetter a lot this offseason, a lot more than I usually did and just really worked on my swing, my short game, my putting, everything."

At age 13, Wie became the youngest player to make an LPGA cut at the 2003 Kraft Nabisco Championship. In 2004, she became the fourth, and youngest, female to play a PGA Tour event at the Sony Open in Honolulu.

Despite winning just two LPGA tournaments since joining the tour full time in 2009 -- the 2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational and 2010 Canadian Women's Open -- Wie, 23, still has her sights set on one day taking on the men in the Masters.

"You've got to dream high, right?" she said.

  • Lydia Ko shot a 10-under 63 to take the first-round lead. The 15-year-old amateur won the New Zealand Women's Open on Sunday for her third victory in a pro tournament.

    "I was in a really good group to start off with," said Ko, grouped with Wie and top-ranked Yani Tseng the first two rounds. "I was pretty nervous when I saw the draw that I was playing with two of the big names, but we all enjoyed our time out there."

    Mariajo Uribe was a stroke back.

    Tseng, the winner at Commonwealth in 2010 and 2011, opened with a 68 in her first tournament of the year.

  • Daniela Holmqvist said she was bitten by a spider and used a tee to extract what she thought was potentially fatal venom before finishing her qualifying round for the Women's Australian Open.

    The Swedish Golf Federation reported on its website that Holmqvist was hitting out of the rough on the fourth hole at Royal Canberra when she felt pain in her ankle.

    Holmqvist, who attended Cal, swatted the spider away and was told it could have been a black widow, so she used a tee to pierce the swelling and squeeze out the venom.

    "A clear fluid came out," she told Svensk Golf magazine. "It wasn't the prettiest thing, but I had to get as much of it out of me as possible."

    Holmqvist continued her round, under the supervision of medical staff, but finished with a 74 on Tuesday and missed out on qualifying for the tournament.

    Australia isn't home to the black widow, which is native to North America. A tournament official said Holmqvist was more than likely bitten by a redback, another species of widow spider known as the Latrodectus Hasselti. No deaths have been reported from redback bites since the discovery of an antidote in 1955.

  • Patrick Cantlay will tee it up Thursday at Riviera Country Club in his hometown tournament. The former UCLA star was given a sponsor's exemption to the Northern Trust Open, one of seven he's allowed this year because he isn't a PGA Tour member.

    It looked as if he wouldn't have to use it when Cantlay closed with a 67 at Pebble Beach and tied for ninth. Anyone finishing in the top 10 gets into the next open tournament.

    But the field at Riviera is so strong that it already was filled with regular members. There was no room left for top-10 players from the previous week.

    "There's only a few occasions in the last five to 10 years when a top-10 category was the last man in the field," said Tyler Dennis, the tour's vice president of competition.

    Cal grad James Hahn finished ahead of Cantlay at Pebble Beach. He didn't get in, either, but went to the top of the alternate list. By Monday, he was in after two players withdrew.