Wie Arrives in Korea for Another Shot at the Men

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SEOUL, South Korea -- Michelle Wie arrived in South Korea as a professional golfer for the first time on Saturday in advance of playing in a men's tournament next week.
 
The 16-year-old Hawaiian, whose parents were born in South Korea, and who many Koreans regard as one of their own, will take part in the Asian Tour's SK Telecom Open from May 4-7 at the Sky 72 Golf Club in Incheon, west of Seoul.
 
It will be the eighth time she's played in a men's tournament. She failed to make the cut in her previous appearances at men's events, including four tournaments on the PGA Tour.
 
'I feel really good (to be back),' Wie said in Korean. 'I want to learn a lot (from the tournament), have a lot of Korean foods and have fun.'
 
Wie was in South Korea as a 14-year-old in 2003 for the LPGA CJ Nine Bridges tournament, where she finished last in the 69-player field.
 
'I practiced hard,' Wie said Saturday. 'Even if I fail to make the cut, I want to learn from other players and play with fun.'
 
Wie was born and raised in Hawaii, but speaks Korean fluently, has a Korean name -- Wie Sung-mi -- and many of her relatives, including grandparents, live in South Korea.
 
Because of that background, many of South Koreans consider her Korean. Local media seldom fail to include Wie among 'Korean' golf stars playing in the United States and the domestic Yonhap news agency referred to her latest trip to Korea a 'visit to homeland.'
 
In the days leading up to this visit, newspapers and broadcasters carried interviews with Wie, focusing on how Korean she is. They said Wie speaks only Korean at home and many of her favorite foods, songs, TV shows, movies, and actors and actresses are Korean.
 
Wie played in the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Hawaii in January and is scheduled to take part in two more PGA Tour events -- the John Deere Classic in July and the 84 Lumber Classic in September.
 
No woman has made the cut on the PGA Tour since Babe Zaharias in 1945.
 
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