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Wie to Play U.S. Women's Open

June 10, 2003|From Associated Press

HEATHROW, Fla. — Credit the impatience of youth for one of golf's newest phenoms' landing a berth in the U.S. Women's Open.

Thirteen-year-old Michelle Wie birdied the first hole of a playoff at a sectional qualifying event on Monday, giving her one of the last bids to the upcoming major tournament.

She struggled early at the Country Club of Heathrow, north of Orlando, with three straight bogeys in her first six holes but rallied with an even-par final round to reach the playoff.

"As she teed up, she said 'Let's make birdie so we can get out of here,' " said her father and caddie, B.J. Wie. "So, she made a birdie."

The U.S. Women's Open will be played at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore., on July 3-6. The defending champion is Juli Inkster.

Also winning a berth in the playoff was 15-year-old Morgan Pressel.

Wie and Pressel, part of golf's growing wave of talented youngsters, were tied with Elisabeth Esteril with five-over 147s after the 36-hole qualifier.

This will be the second major for Wie. At the Kraft Nabisco Championship in March, she shot a six-under 66 to get into the final group Sunday before finishing ninth.

"She can win [the Open]," B.J. Wie said.

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