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Wie has no plans to try LPGA Tour School

Michelle Wie headed back to the 10th grade amid growing speculation about her future.

She has said she wants to go to college, even if she is only there as a student. Wie turns 16 in October, and there are some signs - starting with the swoosh she wore on her shirt at the Sony Open - that she will petition the LPGA Tour to waive its policy that members be at least 18.

But that would be conventional thinking, and the Wie camp already has shown that it operates differently.

"At this point, turning professional is a complex issue," said her father, B.J.

Aree Song was 17 when she joined the LPGA Tour, meeting criteria for the waiver that includes proven performance, strong support and the maturity to cope with being a professional.

What gets overlooked is whether Wie even wants to join the LPGA.

"She did not express any interest in filing an early petition for Q-school," her father said. "We don't want to file a petition, because she can turn professional any time. She does not have to be a full-time member."

That alone provide some insight into what might be in store for the teenage prodigy.

If she were to turn pro at the end of the year, Wie could play at least seven times on the LPGA Tour, which is ample for a junior in high school. She also could add a PGA Tour event (or two), along with broadening her appeal in Asia by playing in Japan and Korea - men's and women's events.

Such a plan might not lead to a bulging trophy case, but Wie already showed her mind is not on the record books.

"I never really wanted to be known as winning 50-some-odd tournaments," Wie said last week. "I always wanted to be known for doing stuff that no one ever thought of. I just want to push myself to the limit. I want to be known as (someone) that changed the world and changed how people think."

There might be one disadvantage to turning pro.

From the time she was 12, Wie has talked about her dream of becoming the first woman to play in the Masters. The most likely scenario is to win the U.S. Amateur Public Links or reach the finals of the U.S. Amateur.

If she were to turn pro, Wie's only hope would be to finish in the top 40 on the PGA Tour money list, the top 50 in the world ranking (points would be available at every men's event she played), or to finish in the top eight in the U.S. Open or top four in the British Open.

"It's a long, long, long shot," her father said. "She has a better chance as an amateur."

 

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