Wie to Play 2004 Sony Open

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Michelle Wie has accepted an invitation into the 2004 Sony Open.
 
Tournament officials offered the 14-year-old Hawaiian a sponsor's exemption in the PGA Tour's first full-field event of the season Thursday. The event is contested at Waialaie Country Club in Honolulu, her hometown. She tried to Monday qualify last year, shot 73 and missed by seven strokes.
 
'It's a dream to play in the Sony Open,' Wie said. 'I just hope I can play good and show what I can do.'
 
Gov. Linda Lingle said she requested that tournament officials allow Wie to play, adding that her appearance will bring added exposure to the January event.
 
'She has played this sport at the highest level under tremendous pressure and unbelievable media attention and scrutiny that anyone of any age would've had a difficult time dealing with it,' Lingle said. 'And she's done it with such grace.'
 
Wie played in Nationwide and Canadian tour events this year, missing the cut in both.
 
The 6-foot golf prodigy, who just started her freshman year in high school, thinks she'll fare better this time around.
 
'I live in Hawaii and I'm used to the grass,' said this year's U.S. Women's Public Links champion. 'When they come here, I hear they have a lot of trouble playing in the Bermuda grass.'
 
Annika Sorenstam and Suzy Whaley also competed in PGA Tour events in 2003. Sorenstam missed the cut at the Bank of America Colonial; Whaley missed the cut in the Greater Hartford Open.