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12-Year-Old Receives LPGA Sponsors Invite

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HONOLULU -- Michelle Wie, the youngest player to earn a spot in an LPGA Tour event through a Monday qualifier, received a sponsor exemption Friday to play in the Asahi Ryokuken International in North Augusta, S.C.
 
The 12-year-old star qualified for the season-opening Takefuji Classic, where she was 6 over for two rounds and missed the cut.
 
'She said it was 'cool,'' said her father, B.J. Wie. 'She wants to play well, dress nicer and wants to smile a lot more. She knows she is impacting and representing other junior golfers.'
 
'This time she'll be more experienced and focused. She has different goals. Last time, she wanted to enjoy the moment.'
 
The 5-foot-10 seventh grader from Honolulu will bring her text books and do homework following her rounds in the May 16-19 event.
 
She will miss two weeks of school because she will stay an extra week to play in a U.S. Women's Open qualifier in Duluth, Ga. B.J. Wie, a professor at the University of Hawaii, said his daughter is committed to attending college before turning pro.
 
'We're looking at 10 more years,' he said.
 
He expects the trip to South Carolina will cost at least $7,000, including $3,000 on airfare alone.
 
'I think it's worth it, we'll be in debt, but I don't mind,' he said. 'It's a great opportunity.'