10 Sep 2008

Wie to go to qualifying school

5:57 pm on 10 September 2008

A couple of years ago, she was labelled as the next biggest thing in women's golf... now the American Michelle Wie is having to go to qualifying school to retain her place on the LPGA Tour.

Unable to earn her card through sponsor exemptions, the 18-year-old will play the first stage of q-school next week on the California course where she first rose to fame at age 13 winning the US amateur title.

Wie, who regularly got invited to play on the men's tour, has no other option after failing to win enough money on the women's tour.

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 shortly after that, when she tried to play through wrist injuries, withdrew from the Ginn Tribute when she was on the verge of shooting 88 and facing suspension, and continued to play the occasional event on men's tours.