Featured Golf News
Odds & Ends from the World of Golf
Though the pace of golf news slows significantly in late December, a few tidbits have popped up. Here’s a peak at them.
Wie Selects Stanford & Helps Paralyzed Teen
Michelle Wie continues to make headlines. The 17-year-old, who attends Punahou School in Hawaii while playing on the LPGA Tour – and occasionally, the PGA and international men’s tours – will be attending Stanford University.
She’ll enroll next fall at the prestigious Pac-10 school, but won’t be eligible to play on the Cardinal golf team because of her professional affiliations.
"No one really believed me," Wie said of her enrollment at the university that Tiger Woods also attended. "Now that I got into Stanford . . . it was one of my dreams, and I want to go through with it. I definitely want to go there and really try to graduate."
Wie's life has been a mixture of school and tour golf since she played in three LPGA events at age 12. She turned pro in October 2005 and earned nearly to $20 million this year, mostly through endorsements and her Nike contract.
In other news, Wie will promote Pyeongchang, South Korea, to help the city’s effort to win the 2014 Winter Olympic bid. On a promotional trip to the United States, Pyeongchang bid committee chairman Han Seung-soo met with Wie at Orlando's ChampionsGate Golf Club and appointed her as an honorary ambassador. Wie’s grandparents still live in Korea. So far, 48 celebrities have been named by Pyeongchang to help promote the city's bid. The International Olympic Committee will select the host city of the 2014 Winter Games next July.
And earlier this week, Wie donated $25,000 to a paralyzed Illinois high school football player. She made the donation after learning that Travis Hearn did not have insurance after he was hurt during a game. Wie also donated funds to Hurricane Katrina victims after she turned pro last year. In addition, she has provided computers and other supplies to needy school children on Oahu's Leeward Coast.
17 to Debut in 2007 Masters
The majority of the field for the 71st Masters was set Monday when the final Official World Golf Ranking of the year was published. The top 50 at the end of 2006 are eligible. Bradley Dredge of Wales got the final spot by one-hundredth of a point over Justin Rose of England.
The list includes 17 who will be newcomers to Augusta National. They include Ryder Cup players J.J. Henry, Brett Wetterich and Robert Karlsson. The Masters starts April 5; Phil Mickelson is the defending champion.
Criteria for the Masters range from past champions to top finishes in the other three majors, although the bulk of players comes from the PGA Tour money list (top 40) and the world ranking (top 50). Of the 16 players who qualified through the world ranking, Ben Crane (No. 41) was the only American.
Woods, Ochoa & Haas Named Players of the Year
Tiger Woods and Lorena Ochoa were named male and female players of the year by the Golf Writers Association of American. Woods received the honor for a record eighth time by the GWAA. Jay Haas was chosen the top player in the 50-and-older bracket.