[ GOLF ]

Wie enters
U.S. Open

The Punahou golfer
faces a tough road
to Pinehurst No. 2

AUGUSTA, Ga. » The next step for Hawaii's Michelle Wie is the toughest test in golf.

The 15-year-old entered the U.S. Open yesterday, although she faces a long and improbable road to Pinehurst No. 2.


Michelle Wie: She will play a local qualifier at Turtle Bay next month

The first stop will be an 18-hole local qualifier May 13 at Turtle Bay, the same course where she tied for second in an LPGA Tour event in February from a shorter set of tees. Wie likely would have to finish first or second at Turtle Bay to advance to a 36-hole sectional qualifier in June.

"Michelle is excited about this," her father, B.J. Wie, said from the University of Hawaii, where he is a professor. "To make it through local qualifying will be challenging. I hope she can make it into sectional. That would be a good experience. For her making it into the main event will be difficult. Her chances will be low."

Her entry left the USGA officials scanning the record books to see if any other woman had tried to qualify for the U.S. Open, the second-oldest championship in golf.

Wie also entered the U.S. Amateur Public Links qualifying for the second straight year, which she sees as her best chance of ever playing in the Masters. The winner of the Public Links gets an invitation to Augusta National.

A year ago, Wie came up two shots short of making it through the first stage of qualifying.

Wie rose to national prominence by becoming the youngest winner of a USGA championship for adults, capturing the Women's Amateur Public Links at age 13. In her PGA Tour debut at the 2004 Sony Open, she shot 68 in the second round at Waialae Country Club and missed the cut by one shot.

Since then, she has taken a path like no other teenager in golf.

Now a sophomore at Punahou, Wie already has played 20 times on the LPGA Tour, twice on the PGA Tour and once each on the Nationwide and Canadian tours.

U.S. Open

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