Michelle Wie at the 2006 US Open Championship local qualifier at Turtle Bay Resort.
Marco Garcia/AP
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

EAST MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Michelle Wie accepted a sponsor's exemption Tuesday to play in the John Deere Classic for the third straight year, continuing her effort to make the cut in a men's event.

Wie, who is to graduate from high school next week, has not made the cut in six starts on the PGA Tour. A year ago at the John Deere Classic, she opened with a 77 and withdrew in the middle of the second round with heat exhaustion.

The John Deere Classic will be played July 12-15 at TPC Deere Run.

"She is a wonderful talent who attracts a tremendous amount of interest among traditional and nontraditional golf fans, which helps broaden the game's appeal, especially among young people," tournament director Clair Peterson said.

Wie has not played since missing the cut by 14 shots at the Sony Open in January. She played that week with an injured right wrist, then injured her left wrist a short time later when she fell while running.

She is to play her first LPGA Tour event of the year next week at the Ginn Tribute in South Carolina.

Skepticism about Wie's scheduling increased late last year when she finished last in consecutive weeks on the European Tour and the PGA Tour, and was next to last at the Casio World Open in Japan. She has failed to break 70 in her last 16 rounds, including two LPGA Tour events.

The John Deere Classic is where she had her best chance to make the cut on the PGA Tour. Two years ago, she was one shot above the cut line until making a double bogey on her 15th hole and a bogey on the 16th to miss the cut by two shots.

"I am really happy to be returning to the John Deere Classic," Wie said. "The people of the Quad Cities have supported me and rooted for me like no other."

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