Out of options, Wie heads to Q-school to try for tour card

Unable to earn her card through sponsor exemptions, Michelle Wie has entered the LPGA Tour qualifying school and will play the first stage next week on the California course where she first rose to fame at age 13.


Her father, B.J. Wie , said at the U.S. Women's Open in June that Wie had "no other options" but Q-school if she didn't make enough money to finish the equivalent of 80th of the LPGA Tour money list.

"Nothing has changed since then," he said Tuesday. "She will go to Q-school."

The first stage will be at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif., site of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where Wie played in the final group of the LPGA's first major when she was in the eighth grade.

Wie turned pro in 2005 and a year later had at least a share of the lead on the back nine of three majors. Her career went into a tailspin after that, when she tried to play through wrist injuries, withdrew from the Ginn Tribute when she was on the verge of shooting higher than 88 and facing suspension, and continued to play the occasional event on men's tours.

ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Padraig Harrington was about the only one not complaining that a double major champion could not qualify for the Tour Championship, blaming only himself for missing consecutive cuts at the start of the PGA Tour Playoffs.

His biggest letdown? Realizing he couldn't win the Vardon Trophy, which is awarded by the PGA of America for lowest adjusted scoring average.

Harrington figured he was safe playing the minimum 15 events on the PGA Tour. But he missed the cut three times, and finished with only 52 rounds. Players must complete 60 rounds to be eligible.

"I didn't know that," he said. "I was trying to win that award. I would consider that a big deal to have the lowest scoring average."

The PGA Tour has its own version of the Vardon Trophy -- the Byron Nelson Award -- and it requires only 50 rounds to be eligible. Phil Mickelson has the lowest adjusted scoring average (69.52); Harrington is fifth (69.67).

FINAL TUNE-UP: The PGA Tour has gone dark this week -- the first time since 1989 that there was a week off during the season -- but that doesn't mean everyone in the Ryder Cup is taking a breather.

Four players from Europe are in the field for the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Germany -- Soren Hansen , Miguel Angel Jimenez , Graeme McDowell and Robert Karlsson .

DEFINITION OF A ROOKIE: Depending on what happens the final two months of the season, Andres Romero figures to be a lock for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.

Romero and Chez Reavie are the only rookies to have won this year -- Romero in New Orleans, Reavie at the Canadian Open -- but Romero is among 11 players to have made the cut in all four majors this year, including top 10s in the Masters Tournament and the PGA Championship.

Reavie only played in one major, a tie for 60th at the PGA Championship.

Strangely enough, Romero didn't become a PGA Tour rookie until one week ago.

Previously, a player was deemed to be a rookie if he finished in the top 125 on the money list or had earnings equivalent to the top 125.

The new policy defines rookies as the year they become a PGA Tour member, play in at least 10 events as a member or finish in the top 125 as a tour member, whichever occurs first.



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