Michelle Wie biography
SynopsisBorn Michelle Sung Wie on October 11, 1989, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Michelle Wie was a child prodigy on the golf course, qualifying for a USGA tournament at age 11 and driving the ball 280 yards as a teenager. At 15, Wie became the first female golfer to qualify for a USGA national men's tournament, telling Time magazine that she hoped to become the first woman to play at the Masters.
Golfer. Born Michelle Sung Wie on October 11, 1989, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The daughter of a professor and real estate agent, Wie is a Korean American who began playing golf at age four. At 11, she was the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship. In 2003, at the Women's Amateur Public Links, she became the youngest player ever to win a USGA event for adults.
In 2004 at age 14, Wie became the fourth female, and the youngest ever, to play in an event on the PGA Tour at the Sony Open in Hawaii. She missed the cut by just one shot. That year, Wie became the youngest woman ever selected to the play on the U.S. team, which went on to win.
At 6 feet in height, Wie is known for her long drives. Her average drive was about 280 yards at the age of 16. In 2005, she became the first female golfer to qualify for a USGA national men's tournament. She told Time magazine that she hoped to become the first woman to play at the Masters Championship.
That same year, Wie had a second place finish behind Annika Sorenstam at the McDonald??s LPGA Championships and came in third at the Women??s British Open that same year. Around the time of her sixteenth birthday, she announced that she was turning professional, reportedly signing sponsorship contracts with Nike and Sony worth more than $10 million per year. Wie was already well on her way to becoming a sports star, attracting an international following.
Since going pro, Wie has been on a roller coaster ride of a career. She was disqualified from the 2005 Samsung World Championship for a rules violation. During the 2006 season, Wie rallied with a string of Top 5 finishes in LPGA tournaments. She tied for third with Natalie Gulbis at the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship. At the U.S. Women??s Open, Wie ended up in a three-way tie for third place with Se Ri Pak and Stacy Prammanasudh.
Also in 2006, Wie continued to compete in the men??s tournaments. She became the second woman to make the cut at a men's tournament in South Korea and finished first in a local qualifying tournament for the Men's U.S. Open. At the 2006 John Deere Classic, Wie ran into difficulty dealing with the heat and was taken away from the course by ambulance.
Her 2007 season was marred by wrist injuries. In January, Wie broke her left wrist while jogging. She also developed problems with her right wrist as well. At the 2007 Sony Open, Wie did not make the cut. She then found herself under intense scrutiny after withdrawing from the 2007 Ginn Tribute, which was being hosted by Annika Sorenstam.
After playing 16 holes, Wie was approached by her manager on the course and they decided that she could not continue because of her wrist.
Others speculated that her poor performance was the cause of her withdrawal and indicated that she may have been worried about the LGPA??s 88 rule that prevents any player who doesn??t break 88 in a round to complete that competition or compete in other LPGA events for the rest of the season.
The remainder of the season continued to be dismal for Wie. At the 2007 Women??s British Open, she failed to make the cut and she finished second-to-last at the Samsung World Challenge.
In 2008, Wie seemed to be faring better. She had a sixth place finish at the Ladies German Open. At the Wegman??s LGPA in June, Wie ended up in a three-way tie for 24th place with Mi Hyun Kim and Jennifer Rosales. She started out strong at the State Farm Classic in July, but she ended up being disqualified for a rules violation. This time she left the scoring area without signing her scorecard after a day??s round, which is against the LPGA rules.
This disqualification puts Wie in a challenging position if she wants to avoid having to qualify for next year??s LPGA tour. Those players with high enough earnings are automatically included in the next season. For Wie, this means she must earn $80,000 at her final event for the season??the CN Canadian Women??s Open in August.
In late July, Wie decided not to play in the Women's British Open. She instead chose to try for a spot at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, a PGA event. Some of her peers in the LPGA openly questioned her decision. "I really don't know why Michelle continues to do this," said Annika Sorenstam according to an Associated Press report. "I think, if she wants to be a golfer, she should really concentrate on being on the women's tour and dealing with them and learning to win," added Helen Alfredsson.
At the Reno-Tahoe Open, Wie missed making the cut for PGA Tour, shooting 80 in her second round. She told reporters that "I feel my game is a lot better. Obviously the score doesn't show it, but I know now what I need to work on." After the event, Wie expressed that she was uncertain whether she would try her luck at another PGA tournament in the future.
In addition to golf, Wie is a part-time student at Stanford University.