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Michelle Wie Needs a Trophy for Her Birthday

Posted October. 12, 2006 07:08,   


Around this time last year, Michelle Wie (17) had her meaningful debut in professional golf at the Samsung World Championship on the LPGA tour.

At the beginning of the tournament, she was smiling, cutting her 16th birthday cake prepared on the field. By the end of the tournament, however, she had burst into tears of pain as she was disqualified for violating rules.

A year has passed. On October 11, she was once again facing a birthday cake, her 17th, on the field. She was invited to the Samsung World Championship, which is to open on October 13 at the Bighorn Golf Club Canyons Course (par-72), located at Palm Desert, California.

Alongside Annika Sorenstam (Sweden), who is looking forward to her sixth title in this championship to establish a new LPGA record for most wins in a single tournament, Wie is again under the brightest media spotlight. Invited to an official press meeting, she reflected on her first year as a pro, “I can`t believe the year has just gone by so fast. I have to say it was quite a busy but successful first year.”

After turning pro, she has thus far participated in 14 tournaments. Although she has performed well enough in the eight LPGA contests, she marked nothing but failures in her challenges to the PGA tour, which has been bitterly criticized as “reckless attempts.”

For this season alone, she has been in the top-five for six out of seven tournaments and earned prize money of $718,343. Had she been seeded, she would have been ranked 14th on the money list. Against men, however, she kept being disqualified, only to realize the high wall between the men’s league and the women’s. Nevertheless, she expressed her intentions to keep trying. "Definitely, it`s a long-term goal for me. I`m going to play many men`s events next year."

Answering the question about her birthday present, she mentioned that she would like to get a car or a “puppy dog.” But there is a good chance that she might be more eager to embrace a champion’s trophy, something she failed to win in her first year of her professional career.