Sports Outside the Beltway

Michelle Wie to enter LPGA Qualifying School

According to Golfweek, Wie has mailed in the application that is the first step in her quest to join the Ladies golf tour on a full-time basis.

Michelle Wie’s latest move is one most folks can agree on: As first reported by Golfweek she’s headed to LPGA Qualifying School.

The application deadline is 5:30 p.m. Sept. 9, and multiple sources confirmed with Golfweek last week that Wie’s check was in the mail.

Wie, who turns 19 on Oct. 11, has been spotted in Rancho Mirage, Calif., gearing up for the first sectional qualifier, Sept. 16-19 at Mission Hills Country Club, a course where she has enjoyed much success.

In four appearances at Mission Hills for the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Wie’s worst finish is a tie for 14th in 2005. She finished T-9 in ‘03, fourth in ‘04, and tied for third in ‘06, when she played in the final group as an eighth-grader.

“I think reality set in,” said Wie’s swing coach, David Leadbetter, when reached by phone Sept. 9. “She needs to play more tournaments. And not make those tournaments PGA Tour events. …

I agree with Leadbetter, Wie’s future is on the ladies tour, not competing against the men.

Rancho Mirage is only the first step to Michelle getting a LPGA Tour card, a second and final qualifier takes place in Daytona Beach Florida this December. I’m betting Michelle gets full LPGA privileges for 2009.

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