The 13-year-old Hawaiian will play as an amateur on a Golf Channel sponsors exemption and will headline a strong amateur representation at the Tour TPC. Five other elite amateurs from both the Canadian and American ranks will also tee it up at Bay Mills. Those names will be announced shortly.
We are extremely excited to be welcoming these amateur standouts into the field in Bay Mills, said Canadian Tour Commissioner Ian Mansfield. One of our objectives at the Canadian Tour is to promote amateur golf in Canada and the United States, and we feel these young players will give fans a look at the future stars of tomorrow.
Wie, who will also play in a Nationwide Tour event later this year, is already making her name well known in LPGA circles. In March, she accepted an invitation to play in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGAs first major of 2003, and played in the final pairing of the tournament with Sorenstam and eventual champion Patricia Meunier-Lebouc. Wie finished ninth, and her driving distance for the tournament was 280-plus yards, 25 yards longer than Sorenstams.
After learning the game at age four, Wie was winning nearly every junior tournament she entered by the time she was 11. As a ten-year-old, Wie became the youngest player in history to qualify for a USGA championship when she made the starting field at the USGA Womens Amateur Public Links Championship. In 2002, at the same event, Wie became the youngest player ever to reach the semi-final of a USGA Amateur Championship.
Based on her performance over the past few years, Michelle certainly has garnered attention not only for herself, but for the game of golf, added Mansfield. There is no doubt the impact she will have on the LPGA Tour in the coming years, and to have her in a Canadian Tour event in the early stages of her career is something we are all looking forward to.
During Monday qualifying for the PGA Tours Sony Open back in January, Wie wound up 47th in a field of 97 men.
With drives that routinely travel more than 300 yards, Wie, who stands nearly six feet tall, has caught the attention of several PGA Tour stars.
When you see her hit a golf ball ... there's nothing that prepares you for it, Fred Couples told Golf World magazine. It's just the scariest thing you've ever seen.'
While Wies appearance in Michigan will likely attract media and fans from all over North America, she will not be the first woman to play in a Canadian Tour event. Cathy Sherk, the former Canadian and U.S. Amateur champion who is now in the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, qualified for the 1989 Timex-BIC Ontario Open at Lookout Point CC in Fonthill, ON. Playing from the mens tees, Sherk fired a 1-under 71 at the Port Colborne GC qualifying site. A few days later, with an international media contingent in Fonthill, including a Los Angeles Times reporter, Sherk seemed distracted by the media attention and eventually missed the cut.