Sports Outside the Beltway

Michelle Wie withdraws from John Deere Classic

She was scheduled to play the PGA Tour event July 12-15.

Unable to break par against the women, Michelle Wie is taking a break from competing against the men. Wie decided Tuesday to withdraw from the John Deere Classic as she tries to return from wrist injuries that have sent the 17-year-old from Hawaii into a deep slump of high scores and shrinking confidence.

“While my rehabilitation is on schedule, I do not have all of my strength back yet,” Wie said in a statement. “The TPC Deere Run course is obviously very long, and I just don’t have the length to play there right now.”

Wie said she still plans to play next week in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, and she said she would keep playing the rest of the summer as she tries to regain strength in her wrists.

Wie has played the John Deere Classic the last two years on sponsor exemptions, nearly making the cut as a 15-year-old in 2005 with a performance that made her a celebrity with the community. She was one shot below the cut line until a double bogey and a bogey late in her round, missing by two shots with rounds of 70-71.

She opened with a 77 last year, then withdrew midway through the second round with what was said to be heat exhaustion. Wie was taken from the course on a stretcher.

I agree with Golf World’s Ron Sirak, who says this was the first common sense move by the Wie camp in some time. So far as Michelle playing the LPGA, I’d think it would be wiser for her to take an extended rest to allow her wrists to heal properly.

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