Wie accepts Canadian invites, will play from men's tees

Updated: February 6, 2003, 11:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Thirteen-year-old Michelle Wie -- who dreams of someday competing against men on a consistent basis -- will get her first chance to do just that later this year.

Michelle Wie failed to qualify for the PGA Tour's Sony Open in January, but received exemptiosn to play in two Canadian Tour events.

While Annika Sorenstam considers offers to play in a PGA Tour event this year, Wie has accepted invitations to play in two men's tournaments on the Canadian Tour this summer, the Honolulu Advertiser reported.

Wie has accepted a sponsor's exemption to play in the Bay Mills Open Players' Championship in Brimley, Mich. (Aug. 21-24), and has tentatively accepted an offer to play in the Greater Vancouver Classic (July 31-Aug. 3), the Advertiser reported. However, the Classic could conflict with the U.S. Women's Amateur, which Wie has planned on playing.

Wie gets a test
this weekend
HONOLULU -- Michelle Wie, the eighth grader from Honolulu, tees off Friday in the Hawaii Pearl Open against 191 other golfers, all men. She will play from same tees as her male competitors.

The three-day event, which draws half of its field from top Japanese pro and amateur players, will be played at Pearl Country Club, where Wie tried to qualify for the Sony Open last month. Playing the back tees, Wie shot a 1-over 73 and tied for 47th against 96 men.

Six-time Hawaii Pearl Open champion David Ishii leads the list of 30 players from the Japanese tour playing in the $80,000 tournament.

-- The Associated Press

Wie would play from the same tees as the men, as Suzy Whaley will do when she plays in the PGA Tour's Greater Hartford Open this summer and Sorenstam will do if she accepts an invitation to play in a men's event.

"I'm happy I got the exemption," said Wie, a Hawaii eighth-grader. "I think I'll play good in it."

The Canadian Tour plays 13 events in Texas, Mexico, Virginia, Michigan and in various sites in Canada.

Last year, Wie -- who won three Hawaii women's events at age 11 -- became the youngest person to qualify for an LPGA tournament. She tried to qualify for the PGA Tour's Sony Open last month, but shot a 73 and missed out.