The 12-year-old Wie is the first female to play in the Hawaii
Pearl Open, which tees off Friday at the Pearl Country Club. In
fact, she will be the only female among nearly 200 golfers in the $80,000 tournament.
The Punahou School seventh grader said she is playing in the
tournament to see where she stands.
'I like beating the guys,' she said.
About half the field is from Japan, but not Hidemichi Tanaka,
whose eagle last year gave him the championship over Hilo's Gregory Meyer.
Tanaka is playing this season on the PGA Tour.
Although the winning prize is only $12,000, the tournament has
drawn many of the top players from the Japanese tour, including Dean Wilson of Kaneohe.
'She's won a lot of tournaments and she does everything very
fundamentally sound,'' he said. ``The most impressive thing is her size at 12 years old. She's not only talented beyond anyone her age, but she's genetically superior too.'
Wie has been studying the Pearl course, which she will play from the championship tees.
'The fairway grass is really good,' she said. 'And the greens
are really interesting. They're hard to read, kind of weird.'
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