Wie will play six LPGA Tour events in 2004
And Michelle Wie thought 2003 was a long haul.
After logging thousands of miles hopscotching the United States last year, the ninth-grader has accepted an invitation to the LPGA Tour's Evian Masters in France in July, her father B.J. said Sunday. It will be the 14-year-old's second LPGA international stop after playing in the Nine Bridges Classic in Korea last October, though she also hopes to travel to England in June as part of the U.S. Curtis Cup team.
Evian offered Wie the exemption in October, and she accepted in November. She will vacation with her parents for a week in Paris after the tournament.
"Michelle really wanted to visit Paris," B.J. Wie said. "It's a good combination of a tournament and a family vacation."
The trip to France will cost Wie a shot at the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship in July. Wie was bumped from the 2003 tourney in the third round.
Adding the Evian Masters, won last year by Juli Inkster, gives Wie a maximum six LPGA exemptions in 2004. She will play the Safeway International in Phoenix in March, followed by the Kraft Nabisco in Palm Springs, where she finished in a tie for ninth last year.
Wie also has accepted an invitation to the Wendy's Championship in Ohio as well as two other yet-to-be-disclosed LPGA tournaments. She also hopes to play in the U.S. Women's Open, which she would need to qualify for, as she did last year.
As if that's not enough, Wie also wants to play in the Men's Public Links tournament in the narrow hopes of winning a tee time at the 2005 Masters. However, she will not be able to qualify in Hawaii because of scheduling, so she hopes to join a local qualifier on the mainland.
Quite a commute, especially for a high schooler who got homesick last year after countless nights in hotel rooms. But for now, she is most concerned about seeing the City of Lights. "We took her when she was four," B.J. Wie said, "but she was too young to appreciate French culture and history."
She was not, however, too young to play golf. Weeks after the Wies returned home from their first trip to France, the tot picked up a golf club for the first time and, according to her father, socked a drive 100 yards.
Eric Adelson is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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