Michelle Wie tees off early in LPGA event Tuesday

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ichelle Wie will begin her attempt to qualify for the LPGA Tour next year at 8:25 a.m. Tuesday on the 10th hole of the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club.


Wie, 18, is playing in an LPGA sectional qualifying tournament for the first time this week. But while she is just one of 164 players in the field this week, she is the player with the most success on the Shore Course.

Wie has played in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, played on the Shore Course, four times, finishing in the top 10 three times. In 2006, Wie missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the Kraft event that would have put her in a playoff for the title with Lorena Ochoa and eventual winner Karrie Webb.

Wie first played in the Kraft when she was an amateur at 13 in 2003. In 2005, Wie made her professonal debut in the Samsung World Championship at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert the week of her 16th birthday.

Wie is not the only high-profile player in the tournament this week, which will send about 30 players to the LPGA final qualifying event in Florida. Stacy Lewis, another veteran of amateur play in the Kraft Nabisco and who finished tied for third in the U.S. Women's Open in June, will tee off at 9:25 a.m. Tuesday on the Palmer Course at PGA West. Golfers will play both the Shore and Palmer courses the first two day before a cut. The final two rounds Thursday and Friday will be played at the Shore Course.

Desert players in the field include Caryn Wilson of Rancho Mirage, a veteran of LPGA play, Dana Bates of Thousand Palms, who was on Golf Channel's "Big Break' earlier this year, and amateur Kathy Schowe of La Quinta.

http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a ... 006/news01

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