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Michelle Wie left home three weeks ago for an incredible summer of golf.
 
When she returns to Honolulu on Aug. 25 to start her freshman year at Punahou School, the 13-year-old will have traveled nearly 20,000 miles to play in eight tournaments -- five of them against professionals -- run by four organizations.
 
This isn't the typical vacation for a teenager, but Wie has no complaints.
 
'If you grow up normal, you'll only be normal,' Wie said. 'And I don't want to be normal. I want to be something else.'
 
The only thing missing from her itinerary is a PGA Tour event, although it wasn't from a lack of offers. Her father, B.J. Wie, said she was offered an exemption to a PGA Tour event, although he declined to say which one -- only that they turned it down.
 
'It's not the right time,' he said. 'It's too much for her.'
 
After qualifying June 9 for the Women's Open, Wie went to the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links to play 36 holes of stroke play, followed by five 18-hole matches and a 36-hole final, which she won for her first national title.
 
She is playing this week in the ShopRite Classic near Atlantic City, N.J., on the LPGA Tour, then goes across country for the Women's Open outside Portland.
 
After a two-week visit with relatives in California, Wie returns to the East Coast on July 21 for the U.S. Girls Junior in Fairfield, Conn., then gets a one-week break before the U.S. Women's Amateur at Philadelphia Country Club.
 
The next week, she will be in Ohio for the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic on the LPGA Tour, followed by a five-hour drive to Michigan for a Canadian Tour event against the men.
 
And after she gets back to school? Wie leaves in three weeks to play on the Nationwide Tour in Idaho.
 
Meanwhile, the PGA Tour remains a strong possibility.
 
Depending on how she plays this summer, B.J. Wie said his daughter might be considered for an exemption to the Sony Open in Honolulu in January.
 
At least that one is close to home.
 
CUT STREAK
 
The Buick Classic wasn't a total loss for Tiger Woods. He made the cut for the 105th consecutive time on the PGA Tour, tying him with Jack Nicklaus for the second-longest streak in tour history.
 
The record is 113 set by Byron Nelson in 1940s.
 
While there have been a few close calls, such as the Masters this year, Woods might not be closing in on the mark if not for Matt Kuchar.
 
The cut streak was at 24 going into the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational when Woods opened with a 74 and followed that with a 72. He was at 2-over 146 and in a tie for 71st.
 
How did he make it to the weekend?
 
The cut is for the top 70 'professionals' and ties. Kuchar played Bay Hill as an amateur that year and was 2-under 142 after 36 holes -- meaning Woods and everyone else at 146 made the cut on the number.
 
SHOPPING SPREE
 
For winning the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, Michelle Wie received a gold medal, the Robert. F. Dwyer Trophy and $300.
 
The money came from her parents, courtesy of a wager by the 13-year-old. Wie said she made the bet Friday after she advanced to the quarterfinals.
 
'My dad was like, 'That's way too much.' He wanted it to be $100,' Wie said. 'But I stared him down, and we made it $300.'
 
B.J. Wie put a different spin on the bet. He said the $300 was pledged as shopping money while they are on vacation in California after the U.S. Women's Open.
 
'If she wins the Women's Open, I'll probably have to give her more money,' he said.
 
HOT HOBBY
 
Jonathan Kaye has one of the more interesting hobbies among PGA Tour players. He raises jalapeno peppers.
 
Kaye said gardeners decided to plant the peppers around his house in Phoenix. He liked what he saw, and now takes care of them himself.
 
'It's not hard to harvest them,' Kaye said. 'You just decide when to pick them. It's how hot you want them. With jalapenos, the more cracks there are, the hotter it is.'
 
What does he do with them?
 
'I love Mexican food,' he said.
 
SPREADING THE WORD
 
Shooting a 65 to share the first-round lead at the U.S. Open gave Tom Watson a platform to talk about his caddie, Bruce Edwards, who is dying from Lou Gehrig's disease, and the need for more research money.
 
Edwards and Jeff Julian have formed 'Driving 4 Life,' an intensive effort to raise money for the ALS Therapy Development Foundation. They even launched an Internet site, www.driving4life.org.
 
Donations are for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research. Edwards has a separate trust fund to help cover his medical expenses.
 
A NEW EXPERIENCE
 
John Rollins will be playing in the British Open for the first time, exempt because he won the Canadian Open.
 
The only time Rollins has played in Europe was the American Express Championship last year at Mount Juliet in Ireland, an American-style course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
 
'I know I'll have to adjust my game,' Rollins said. 'I'll have to learn how to hit shots short of the green and hit some bump-and-runs.'
 
He then mentioned that he'll be going over a week early to play in the Scottish Open.
 
One problem: It's played at Loch Lomond, an American-style course designed by Tom Weiskopf.
 
DIVOTS
 
Annika Sorenstam has made the list of Forbes magazine's 'Celebrity 100' for the first time. Sorenstam is No. 74 and trails Serena Williams (60), Venus Williams (65) and Anna Kournikova (70) among the five female athletes on the list. The only other golfers were Tiger Woods (3) and Arnold Palmer (64). Celebrities were chosen based on money earned, Web site hits, press clippings and broadcast interviews. ... Kelli Kuehne raised $175,000 in her annual pro-am to raise money for diabetes. She has raised more than $1.5 million since she started the charity even six years ago.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
 
The last three major championships were won with three-putt bogeys on the final hole -- Jim Furyk at the U.S. Open, Mike Weir at the Masters (playoff), Rich Beem at the PGA Championship.
 
FINAL WORD
 
'If it was easy, all of us would be like Tiger.' -- John Rollins, on the difficult of winning on the PGA Tour.
 
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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