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Wie to try and qualify for mens US Open

Michelle Wie doesn't need a special exemption for the next U.S. Women's Open because she finished in the top 20 at Orchards Golf Club.

That doesn't mean she won't experience U.S. Open qualifying.

B.J. Wie said his daughter likely will enter the 18-hole local qualifier for the men's U.S. Open, part of the plan for the 14-year-old from Hawaii to compete more against the men next year.

Wie, who tied for 13th place at the Orchards with 17-year-old Paula Creamer, tried to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Public Links and missed by one shot. It was her fourth time playing against the men. She previously missed the cut on the Canadian, Nationwide and PGA Tour, although her 68 at the Sony Open to miss by one shot turned heads.

Next year, she is expected to play in the Western Amateur and try the Publinx qualifying again.

``She learns a lot when she plays against the men,'' said B.J. Wie, as he prepared for a 10-day break away from golf while visiting family in Los Angeles. ``The only thing she wants is to get better than she was the year before.''

The USGA took some heat for giving Wie an exemption instead of having her go through 36 holes of sectional qualifying like Creamer, Erica Blasberg and the rest of the Curtis Cup team.

What would have happened had Wie finished outside the top 20?

She might have received another exemption next year, anyway.

``The slate is wiped clean from this moment forward, `` USGA executive director David Fay said Sunday as Wie was about to start her final round. ``I hope we are in a situation where we have amateurs that, by their play, earn consideration for a special exemption.''

And what of Creamer?

The senior-to-be at Leadbetter Golf Academy tied for second and finished 13th in consecutive weeks on the LPGA Tour. That came after the field was set for the Women's Open, and Fay said Creamer's performance the last two weeks might have been considered for an exemption next year.

Alas, none of it matters. Both secured spots in the field at Cherry Hills in Denver. But the USGA made it clear that they are looking as much at amateurs as they are past major champions, such as Betsy King and Dottie Pepper.

The question for Creamer is whether she shows up at Cherry Hills as an amateur.

Her father, Paul Creamer, said she has a multitude of options that include going to Q-school in the fall but still finishing up her senior year of high school. Creamer already has taken college visits to Arizona and Arizona State, and plans more visits this fall.

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