JACKSONVILLE (Florida): Michelle Wie has accepted an invitation to play in the Evian Masters in France, and a new policy adopted late last year by the LPGA Tour makes it possible for the 15-year-old to play in the Womens British Open.
That would give Wie eight starts on the LPGA Tour, including all four majors.
B.J. Wie said on Tuesday that his daughter, in her second year at Punahou School in Honolulu, has been offered a sponsors exemption to play the Evian Masters for the second straight year.
Meanwhile, Golfweek Magazine cited a source close to the Ladies Golf Union as saying Wie would be offered one of the two invitations for top amateurs to the Womens British Open.
LGU chief executive Andy Salmon said only that an invitation to Wie is being given due consideration, and B.J. Wie declined comment, saying any announcement should come from England.
We hope to play back-to-back tournaments, B.J. Wie said, noting that the Womens British Open at Royal Birkdale is played one week after the Evian Masters.
Wie tied for 33rd last year at the Evian Masters, the only time she did not finish in the top 20 in her seven appearances on the LPGA Tour.
Non-members are allowed six sponsors exemptions, but the US Womens Open doesnt count.
Commissioner Ty Votaw said the LPGA board decided last year that the Womens British Open, like the US Womens Open, should not count against the six exemptions.
That means Wie can play six LPGA Tour events, plus the two Opens. She is eligible for the US Womens Open because she finished in the top 16 (tied for 13th) last year at Orchards Golf Club.
It was basically a situation where it made sense to treat the two Open events the same, Votaw said.
Wie missed the cut at the Sony Open on the PGA Tour last month.
She will start her LPGA Tour season at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay in Honolulu on Feb 24-26, then play the Safeway International in Phoenix (March 17-20), followed by the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first LPGA major of the year.
Wie also has accepted invitations to play in the LPGA Championship (June 9-12) and the Samsung World Championship (Oct 13-16) at Bighorn. AP