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Michelle Wie to play Women's British Open

Teenage prodigy Michelle Wie will this year play in her first Women's British Open on a special exemption, the Ladies' Golf Union (LGU) said on Monday.

Hawaiian schoolgirl Wie, 15, is one of five amateurs invited to compete at the fourth and final women's major of the season, to be staged at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England from July 28-31 July.

"We have followed Michelle's development over the last two years with great interest and admiration and in particular her performance in major championships," LGU chief executive Andy Salmon said in a statement.

"We have no doubt that she is ready to compete with the world's best players at Royal Birkdale."

Wie, who narrowly failed to make the cut in last year's Sony Open playing alongside the men on the PGA event, will be making her second competitive appearance in Britain.

Last year, she helped the United States clinch a 10-8 victory over Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup amateur team competition at Formby Golf Club in north-west England.

Wie will play in all four majors this year, having already accepted invitations to take part in the Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, California from March 24-27 and the LPGA Championship in Havre de Grace, Maryland from June 9-12.

She was already exempt for the U.S. Women's Open, to be played at Cherry Hills Village, Colorado from June 23-26, after tying for 13th in last year's tournament.

Wie's best finish in a major was fourth at last year's Nabisco Championship.

The 2005 Women's British Open has a field of 144. Britain's Karen Stupples will be defending the title she won at Sunningdale last year by five strokes.


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