Aree Song to Turn Pro at 17


Aree Song has confirmed that she will be passing up the scholarship offered to her by the University of Florida and entering LPGA Sectional Qualifying School in Venice, Fla., Tuesday.
Song, who turned 17 in May, spoke with The Golf Channels Kelly Tilghman and announced the decision.
Aree has demonstrated the ability to compete at the highest level in LPGA events as an amateur during the past four years, said LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaw. For that reason, and more, if she is able to qualify for the tour via the sectional and final qualifying events, I will permit Aree to play on the LPGA Tour prior to her 18th birthday on May 1, 2004.
Lady Gator coach Jill Briles-Hinton was 'extremely understanding' of her decision to skip college play and turn pro, according to Song.
Aree's twin sister, Naree, also an accomplished golfer, has already reported to Florida to begin her college career. The Songs agreed Naree is not ready to turn professional yet.
Aree was formerly known as Aree Wonglukiet, but this year took her middle name and made it her last.
Aree posted a top-5 at the U.S. Women's Open this summer and a top-10 at the 2000 Kraft Nabisco championship at the age of 13, playiing in the final group on Sunday with Karrie Webb. Song has played in 14 LPGA events as an amateur since 2000, making 11 cuts, including all six major championships in which she has played.
Aree will be a guest on the Sprint Pre-Game Wednesday at 8:00 PM ET.