Michelle Wie looking to make best major finish yet
Fourteen-year-old schoolgirl Michelle Wie has set herself the tough task of improving on her Kraft Nabisco Championship display 12 months ago when this year's event starts on Thursday.
The six-foot tall Hawaiian teenager shot a 66 in the third round at Mission Hills Country Club last year and went on to finish tied ninth in the first women's major of the season.
Since then, Wie has continued to stun the sporting world. In January, she played in the Sony Open in Hawaii on the men's PGA Tour and only missed the cut by one stroke.
"This year my goal here is to play better," Wie told reporters on Wednesday.
"It's great to be back. I had so much fun last time and I'm just looking forward to playing again."
This is Wie's 12th LPGA tournament as an invited amateur and she has made the cut in seven of the last eight. Last week, she tied for 19th in the LPGA Classic in Phoenix.
Wie seems unaffected by her global fame and says she is not totally preoccupied with golf.
"I certainly don't think about golf all day long," she said. "I'm not obsessed by it.
"For instance, if I'm out shopping I don't think about golf at all. I'm not a big fan of practising but you have to do it if you want to win."
Wie has already said that, ultimately, her aim is to play on both the LPGA and PGA tours.
The minimum age is 18 for the LPGA, although players can petition for membership when they are 15. Wie reaches that landmark in October.
Tie Votaw, the LPGA Commissioner, recognises that Wie offers a potentially huge marketing opportunity for his tour. Last week in Phoenix, she attracted bigger galleries than world number one and eventual winner, Annika Sorenstam.
"But the reason we have an age limitation is that a youngster has to have the maturity and family support," said Votaw. "A professional golfer has to be able to deal with failure much more often than success.
"Michelle Wie is an amazing young woman who has the potential to achieve great things in golf, and not just women's golf. But we would want her to have as long a career as possible."
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