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Michelle Wie excited about start of LPGA season

Michelle Wie was delighted to be back in her native Hawaii for this week’s season-opening SBS Open where she will be making her first start as an LPGA member.

The 19-year-old Stanford University student earned her LPGA Tour card in December by tying for seventh place at the tour’s qualifying school.

“I’m real excited,” Wie told reporters on the eve of Thursday’s opening round at Turtle Bay Resort Golf Club in Kahuku, Hawaii.

“It feels a little different than actually (being a) rookie. It’s going to be an exciting three days.

“I’m just glad I got to come back home,” added Wie, who has produced 13 top-10 finishes in 48 LPGA starts. “I haven’t been home in around six months so I’m just loving home, loving the weather, loving the golf course.”

Wie, who tied for second at the 2005 SBS Open as a 15-year-old amateur, is a big fan of the Palmer Course at Turtle Bay.

“It’s a great course and it is in great condition,” she said. “Hopefully the wind won’t be that brutal, but I’ve had some good moments here in the past and hopefully I can do better this year.”

Asked to assess the state of her game, she replied: “I’ve been working on it really hard and I’ve been practising a lot.

“So hopefully my game’s a lot better than it was before. I’m really excited to show that.”

In the absence of last year’s champion Annika Sorenstam, who has retired from competition, the biggest names this week include 2008 LPGA Tour rookie of the year Tseng Yani of Taiwan, American world number three Paula Creamer and fourth-ranked Suzann Pettersen of Norway.

February 12, 2009

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