Michelle Wie to return at Ginn Tribute

April 24, 2007

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) — Michelle Wie has a sore wrist and Annika Sorenstam is battling a bad back. But, if their doctors approve, both will tee up next month at the LPGA’s new $2.6 million Ginn Tribute hosted by Sorenstam.

Tournament officials announced Monday that Wie has accepted a sponsor’s exemption to play in the tournament at the RiverTowne Country Club. She injured her left wrist during a fall in February.

Tournament officials expect Wie will have clearance from doctors to play in the tournament, which starts May 28. It would be her first LPGA Tour event of the year, and give the 17-year-old from Honolulu a warm-up before the LPGA Championship in early June.

Her only tournament this year was the Sony Open on the PGA Tour, where she had a slight injury in her right wrist and shot rounds of 78-76 to miss the cut by 14 shots.

Wie finished in the top five in eight LPGA events last year, including three majors.

She had at least a share of the lead on the back nine of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open, but her game began to fall off dramatically at the end of the summer.

Wie tied for 26th at the Women’s British Open, and finished 17th in a 20-player field at the Samsung World Championship.

Sorenstam, who attended Monday’s tournament media day, has been sidelined with a ruptured disc in her back.

“I’ve started rehab,” she said. “I went to see the doctor and he had some good news — I have already improved 50 to 60 percent, so obviously I was very encouraged.”

But she said it is still unclear just when she will be able to play golf again. She expects to know more after another MRI in about a week.

“I look forward to coming back in a few weeks,” she said. “Hopefully I will be bringing my clubs.”

The tournament will be played May 31-June 3 in this Charleston suburb, a week after the Senior PGA Championship at nearby Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course.