Michelle Wie Accepts Special Exemption To 2004 U.S. Women's Open
May 20, 2004
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Far Hills, N.J. - Reigning U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links champion Michelle Wie of Honolulu, Hawaii, has accepted a special exemption from qualifying for the 2004 U.S. Women's Open Championship, which will be played from July 1-4 at the Orchards Golf Club, located on the campus of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.
|Michelle Wie hitting a tee shot at the 2003 U.S. Women's Open at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.
The United States Golf Association, which conducts the championship, offered the exemption. The USGA reserves the right to offer additional special exemptions until the beginning of sectional qualifying on June 14.
It will be the second consecutive U.S. Women's Open appearance for the 14-year-old Wie, who finished tied for 39th at the 2003 championship at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore. Her USGA career began when she qualified for the 2000 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship at age 10, making her the youngest to ever qualify for a USGA event. She became the youngest to ever win an "adult" USGA championship when she won the 2003 Women's Amateur Public Links at Ocean Hammock Golf Club in Palm Coast, Fla.
Wie will also represent the USA at the Curtis Cup Match, to be held June 12-13 at Formby Golf Club in Merseyside, England. She will be the youngest to ever play in the Match.
She has twice finished in the top 10 at the LPGA's Kraft Nabisco Championship. In 2003 she finished in a tie for ninth, and in 2004 she earned a fourth-place finish, shooting seven under par for the four days of the championship. She has two other top-20 finishes in LPGA events in 2004 - a 12th-place tie at the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill and a tie for 19th at the Safeway International. In January, she missed the cut at the PGA Tour's Sony Open by one stroke.
"We are pleased to extend this exemption to Michelle into the Women's Open," said Jeanne Myers, chairman of the USGA Women's Committee. "She is an exceptional talent and has proven herself against the best players in the world. The USGA has always been proud of its association with amateur golf, and we are happy to acknowledge the outstanding play of one of our country's best young amateurs."
It is the second time an amateur has been given a special exemption into the Women's Open. Edwina Kennedy was granted one in 1981. Jay Sigel received a special exemption into the 1980 U.S. Open and Aaron Baddeley received one into the 2000 U.S. Open. In 2003, Vinny Giles received a special exemption into the 2003 U.S. Senior Open.