PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) — Michelle Wie will celebrate her 18th birthday this fall by playing in the Samsung World Championship for the fourth straight year, joining the 20-player field at Bighorn Golf Club where she made her professional debut.
Wie has not played since missing the cut on the PGA Tour at the Sony Open in January. She has been recovering from a wrist injury and is expected to return May 31 at the Ginn Tribute on the LPGA Tour.
She is to graduate this year from Punahou School in Honolulu, and has said she will enter Stanford in the fall. Wie turns 18 on Oct. 11, the start of the four-round tournament.
Wie made her pro debut at Samsung in 2005 and was in fourth place until she was disqualified for taking an improper drop during the third round. A year ago, she finished 17th in the 20-player field, failing to break par all four rounds.
“There is nothing like going back to where my professional career started, and playing against the best players in the world,” she said. “I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Lorena Ochoa is the defending champion, and 18-year-old Morgan Pressel has earned a spot at Samsung by winning the LPGA Tour’s first major of the year at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The other 17 spots go to major champions in 2007 and leading money winners from the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour.