Michelle Wie will make early debut at Wegmans LPGA

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The first tee will be the early place to be for the first round of the Wegmans LPGA Thursday morning at Locust Hill Country Club.

Michelle Wie, the 18-year-old phenom who is playing on a sponsor’s exemption, will play in the first group out with Birdie Kim and Beth Bader at 7:15 a.m. Wie is making her first appearance in Rochester this week.

Defending champion Lorena Ochoa, the world’s top-ranked player, will tee off on No. 1 just over an hour later at 8:32 a.m. Ochoa is playing with Rochester favorite Paula Creamer, who ranks third on the LPGA money list, and Suzann Pettersen.

Annika Sorenstam, the world’s No. 2 player, will begin her final tournament in Rochester just over 20 minutes later. Sorenstam will play with rookie Yani Tseng, who won the McDonald’s LPGA Championship for her first major victory two weeks ago, and 2006 Wegmans LPGA winner Jeong Jang at 8:54.

Other Thursday tee times include: Spencerport native Danielle Downey (7:59 a.m. on No. 10); Natalie Gulbis and Juli Inkster (12:54 p.m. on No. 10), Defending U.S. Open champion Cristie Kerr (12:43 p.m. on No. 10) and Nancy Lopez (12:10 p.m. on No. 10).

The 72-hole tournament runs Thursday through Sunday.

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