Sports Outside the Beltway

Michelle Wie won’t play at Sony Open

The 18-year-old is postponing her 2008 debut.

Michelle Wie might start her 2008 season in Hawaii, but not at the Sony Open. Wie, who has played the PGA Tour event every year since 2004, did not receive one of the four unrestricted sponsor exemptions, tournament director Ray Stosik said Thursday.

Swing coach David Leadbetter said the 18-year-old from Honolulu likely would ask for exemptions at one or both of the LPGA Tour events in Hawaii that kick off the women’s golf season in February. He also said competition against the men would probably be on hold until she gets her health and her game back together.

“She’s not ready to play in that yet,” Leadbetter said of the Sony Open, where Wie first rose to fame by shooting 68 at age 14 and missing the cut by one shot. “Her health is getting better, her game is getting better, the confidence is growing. The plan hasn’t been made totally for this year yet, but she’s looking to play one or two Hawaiian events against the women.

“The whole goal is to get back on track after the debacle last year.”

The debacle included Wie trying to play despite both wrists being injured. She made only three cuts in nine starts, withdrew twice and only broke par two times.

I’ve said from the first moment after hearing about Michelle’s wrist injuries, that she needed to take a thorough rest in order to let them heal. Something she didn’t do, probably because of pressure/bad advice from her parents and others in her camp.

The playing against the men gig got tiresome before Michelle’s injury problems. Even if Michelle becomes a LPGA superstar(and I think she can), at the very best she would be run of the mill against PGA pros. Fans will start seeing this, if they haven’t already, and the novelty will wear off.

I do hope 2008 is a better year for Michelle Wie.

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