Fri, Aug 22, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Wie may skip classes to play in PGA competition

AP , BRIMLEY, MICHIGAN

Michelle Wie speaks during the PGA's Canadian Tour Bay Mills Open Players' Championship at the Wild Bluff Golf Club in Brimley, Michigan, Wednesday.

PHOTO: AP

Some kids will do almost anything to put off the first day of school. Michelle Wie, for example, can report a day late next week if she makes the cut in the Bay Mills Open Players Championship.

Wie, the 13-year-old long-driving sensation, becomes the third female to compete with men this summer when she tees it up on a sponsor's exemption in Thursday's first round of the Canadian Tour's final event of the season.

School starts Monday at Punahou High School in Honolulu and Wie, who will be a ninth grader, is more than ready.

"I'm really excited," she said after a practice round Wednesday. "I'm looking forward to seeing my friends again."

This has been a whirlwind summer for the teenager.

She became the youngest player to win a USGA title for adults at the US Women's Amateur Public Links. She also played in the final group of the LPGA Nabisco Championship.

There also were some hard knocks. Wie lost in the first round of the US Women's Amateur and had an unpleasant run-in with Danielle Ammaccapane over a breach of etiquette during the US Women's Open.

Then, last weekend, she had trouble keeping her 300-yard drives in the fairways, shot 73-72 and missed the cut at the LPGA Jamie Farr Kroger Classic.

"I'm really tired right now," Wie said. "I'm really looking forward to getting back to Honolulu.

"I haven't been there in three months."

Wie likely will find returning to Hawaii a lot easier than getting back into Michigan from Canada. The teen and her parents, father B.J. and mother Bo, wanted to go shopping in nearby Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the other day but were detained by customs officials because they didn't have their passports with them.

"They searched our car," said Wie, whose every statement sounds like a question. "I was scared out of my mind. They finally let us in, but I learned you ought to have a passport."

Annika Sorenstam and Suzy Whaley failed to make the cut in their PGA Tour attempts earlier this season. Wie, however, has reason to believe she might have the game for Wild Bluff Golf Course, the 7,022-yard Upper Peninsula layout.

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