Michelle Wie waved as she walked off the ninth green during yesterday's second round of the 84 Lumber Classic.
Wie has another weekend free
But missing another cut won't stop the teen from trying again
FARMINGTON, Pa. » The next PGA Tour appearance for Michelle Wie -- and there will be more of them -- likely will be in January at the 2007 Sony Open in Honolulu.
Nothing has been announced yet, but she has received a sponsor's exemption to the event at Waialae Country Club the past three years. Sony is one of her three major sponsors. She is determined to keep teeing it up against men, despite missing cuts. She talks about hitting the gym to add strength and stamina.
"Nothing has changed," she says. "These (last) two weeks I took a lot of positives. I'm not going to give up ... I definitely look forward to the next time."
The question now seems to be whether the experience of playing against men at golf's highest level is worth potential damage to Wie's confidence if she can't be competitive.
"I'm not getting more comfortable with disappointment," she says. "I'm feeling more comfortable playing out here. I'm feeling like I have more of an idea what I have to do."
Wie concluded her three-event PGA Tour schedule for this year by missing the cut yesterday at the 84 Lumber Classic on Mystic River Golf Course (as did Castle alumnus Dean Wilson). That experience comes in the wake of a missed cut a week ago against men at the Omega European Masters on the European Tour. At 7,550 yards, Mystic River was the longest PGA Tour course Wie has tackled in six career tries.
Because it rained early in the week at the venue in southwestern Pennsylvania, the course was wet enough to play lift, clean and place. So she got almost no roll on her shots.
As a result, Wie posted a score of 14-over-par 158, missing the cut by 13 strokes. She finished last among the 134 players who completed two rounds. It was the largest margin by which she has missed a PGA Tour cut. The closest she has come to making a cut was one shot at the 2004 Sony Open.
Nevertheless, she thinks she is making progress after the last two weeks.
"I'm getting better, even though my score didn't show it," she says. "Even though I had a bad two weeks, I have a clear idea of what I have to work on now."
She has played all six PGA Tour events on sponsor's exemptions. Tournament directors undoubtedly love the fact that she attracts so many fans to their events. Her résumé vs. men, including various pro tours around the globe, features 11 events and one made cut, that coming earlier this year at the SK Telecom Open in South Korea.
"I want to keep playing out here and compete with them," she says. "I'm really enjoying it ... everyone knows my ultimate goal is to play in The Masters."
She has two more professional events left on her 2006 schedule. The first is the Samsung World Championship, an LPGA tournament, scheduled Oct. 12-15, in Palm Desert, Calif.
She will conclude the year with a stop at the Nov. 23-26 Casio World Open, another men's event, in Kochi, Japan.
"I like playing out here, making cuts, start making cuts, start getting top 10s," she says. "Who knows what's going to happen? But obviously my goal is to compete with the guys."
Meanwhile, Wie will return to classes next week at Punahou School, where she is a senior, but she is not leaving Nemacolin Highlands Resort immediately. First, there is a Black Eyed Peas concert tonight on the resort grounds that she has been eagerly anticipating.
"I'm really looking forward to the concert," she says. "It was a fun week."