Golf Notes June 25
Michelle Wie left home three weeks ago for an incredible summer of golf.
When she returns to Honolulu on Aug. 25 to start her freshman year at Punahou
School, the 13-year-old will have traveled nearly 20,000 miles to play in eight
tournaments -- five of them against professionals -- run by four organizations.
This isn't the typical vacation for a teenager, but Wie has no complaints.
``If you grow up normal, you'll only be normal,'' Wie said. ``And I don't want
to be normal. I want to be something else.''
The only thing missing from her itinerary is a PGA Tour event, although it
wasn't from a lack of offers. Her father, B.J. Wie, said she was offered an exemption
to a PGA Tour event, although he declined to say which one -- only that they turned
``It's not the right time,'' he said. ``It's too much for her.''
After qualifying June 9 for the Women's Open, Wie went to the U.S. Women's
Amateur Public Links to play 36 holes of stroke play, followed by five 18-hole
matches and a 36-hole final, which she won for her first national title.
She is playing this week in the ShopRite Classic near Atlantic City, N.J.,
on the LPGA Tour, then goes across country for the Women's Open outside Portland.
After a two-week visit with relatives in California, Wie returns to the East
Coast on July 21 for the U.S. Girls Junior in Fairfield, Conn., then gets a one-week
break before the U.S. Women's Amateur at Philadelphia Country Club.
The next week, she will be in Ohio for the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic on the
LPGA Tour, followed by a five-hour drive to Michigan for a Canadian Tour event
against the men.
And after she gets back to school? Wie leaves in three weeks to play on the
Nationwide Tour in Idaho.
Meanwhile, the PGA Tour remains a strong possibility.
Depending on how she plays this summer, B.J. Wie said his daughter might be
considered for an exemption to the Sony Open in Honolulu in January.
At least that one is close to home.
SHOPPING SPREE: For winning the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, Michelle
Wie received a gold medal, the Robert F. Dwyer Trophy and $300.
The money came from her parents, courtesy of a wager by the 13-year-old. Wie
said she made the bet Friday after she advanced to the quarterfinals.
``My dad was like, 'That's way too much.' He wanted it to be $100,'' Wie said.
``But I stared him down, and we made it $300.''
B.J. Wie put a different spin on the bet. He said the $300 was pledged as shopping
money while they are on vacation in California after the U.S. Women's Open.
``If she wins the Women's Open, I'll probably have to give her more money,''
HOT HOBBY: Jonathan Kaye has one of the more interesting hobbies among PGA
Tour players. He raises jalapeno peppers.
Kaye said gardeners decided to plant the peppers around his house in Phoenix.
He liked what he saw, and now takes care of them himself.
``It's not hard to harvest them,'' Kaye said. ``You just decide when to pick
them. It's how hot you want them. With jalapenos, the more cracks there are, the
hotter it is.''
What does he do with them?
``I love Mexican food,'' he said.
SPREADING THE WORD: Shooting a 65 to share the first-round lead at the U.S.
Open gave Tom Watson a platform to talk about his caddie, Bruce Edwards, who is
dying from Lou Gehrig's disease, and the need for more research money.
Edwards and Jeff Julian have formed ``Driving 4 Life,'' an intensive effort
to raise money for the ALS Therapy Development Foundation. They even launched
an Internet site, www.drivinglife.org.
Donations are for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research. Edwards has a separate
trust fund to help cover his medical expenses.
A NEW EXPERIENCE: John Rollins will be playing in the British Open for the
first time, exempt because he won the Canadian Open.
The only time Rollins has played in Europe was the American Express Championship
last year at Mount Juliet in Ireland, an American-style course designed by Jack
``I know I'll have to adjust my game,'' Rollins said. ``I'll have to learn
how to hit shots short of the green and hit some bump-and-runs.''
He then mentioned that he'll be going over a week early to play in the Scottish
One problem: It's played at Loch Lomond, an American-style course designed
by Tom Weiskopf.
DIVOTS: Annika Sorenstam has made the list of Forbes magazine's ``Celebrity
100'' for the first time. Sorenstam is No. 74 and trails Serena Williams (60),
Venus Williams (65) and Anna Kournikova (70) among the five female athletes on
the list. The only other golfers were Tiger Woods (3) and Arnold Palmer (64).
Celebrities were chosen based on money earned, Web site hits, press clippings
and broadcast interviews. ... Kelli Kuehne raised $175,000 in her annual pro-am
to raise money for diabetes. She has raised more than $1.5 million since she started
the charity event six years ago.
STAT OF THE WEEK: The last three major championships were won with three-putt
bogeys on the final hole -- Jim Furyk at the U.S. Open, Mike Weir at the Masters
(playoff), Rich Beem at the PGA Championship.
FINAL WORD: ``If it was easy, all of us would be like Tiger.'' -- John Rollins,
on the difficult of winning on the PGA Tour.
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