Michelle Wie, out since January with a wrist injury, is back in action at the Ginn Tribute. Annika Sorenstam, Michelle Wie return to action at Ginn Tribute

It's a huge week for the LPGA Tour as both Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie return to professional competition at the inaugural Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika, opening today at RiverTowne Country Club in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Both players have been sidelined with injuries. Sorenstam hasn't played since pulling out of the Ginn Open in April with a back injury. Wie has been recovering from a wrist injury and hasn't competed since missing the cut at the PGA Tour Sony Open in January. The Ginn Tribute extended Wie a sponsor's exemption.

Sorenstam and Wie maintain they're ready to face tournament play again.

"As soon as my doctor said I was good to go, I was like, 'I'm playing the next tournament.' I couldn't wait," Wie, who will miss her graduation at Punahou School in Honolulu to play the event, told the media. "This is it, and I'm really excited to be here."

They'll face one of the toughest fields of the year. Forty-nine of the top 50 players are expected to compete for a piece of the $2.6 million purse, the third highest on tour. The winner will walk away with $390,000 and a place in the season-ending ADT Championship, as the Ginn Tribute is one of 10 so-called Winner Events this season.

Recently crowned women's No. 1 Lorena Ochoa will face off with Sorenstam, whom she supplanted atop the Rolex Rankings last month, for the first time since the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Ochoa has posted three top-five finishes in four events since overtaking Sorenstam, including her second Sybase Classic title.

Paula Creamer and Mi Hyun Kim are also hot. They tied for second at last weekend's Corning Classic, where South Korean Young Kim prevailed for her first career victory.

It was Creamer's third consecutive top-10 finish and another excellent performance for Mi Hyun Kim, who won her eighth career title at the SemGroup Championship earlier this month.

May 30, 2007

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