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12 Year old qualifies for LPGA event

Although she's still an amateur, 12-year-old Michelle Wie is learning about life on the LPGA Tour quickly.

``It's more tiring than I thought it would be,'' said Wie, who has spent the last month and a half away from her Honolulu home playing in tournaments across the country. ``It's a lot of traveling and golf.''

Her summer on the road is about to end after she competes in this week's LPGA Wendy's Championship for Children in Dublin, Ohio, her third professional event of the year.

Wie qualified for the Wendy's Championship with a 1-under par 71, which included an eagle in Monday's qualifier.

She became the youngest player to earn a spot in an LPGA Tour event through a qualifier in the season-opening Takefuji Classic, where she was 6-over for two rounds and missed the cut.

Wie received a sponsor exemption to play in the Asahi Ryokuken International, but was cut after rounds of 81 and 75.

``This time, I just want to make the cut,'' she said in a telephone interview from Ohio.

Wie has varied her summer of golf by playing against everyone from Hawaii's best male amateurs to the nation's top juniors.

``I learned I can't always play good, because sometimes I played really, really bad,'' she said.

Wie stands 5-foot-10 and was nicknamed ``The Big Wiesy'' by Tom Lehman. She misses her friends, and being at home in Hawaii and even school, where she'll enter eighth grade in the fall.

B.J. Wie said his daughter had success Monday because the 6,517-yard Tartan Fields Golf Club course plays long.

``It fits Michelle's game,'' he said.

Wie's drives average 280 yards, but she has struggled with her short game in her two previous LPGA tournaments.

By the time Wie joins the tour full-time, she might have played in a couple dozen pro tournaments. The tour's age limit is 18, and Wie doesn't plan on going pro until after she finishes college.

And while she might have felt butterflies in her previous LPGA outings, Wie said she feels relaxed this time around.

``I feel like it's pretty much like another tournament,'' she said.


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