Michelle Wie expected to return to LPGA Tour at Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika

Michelle Wie, the 17-year-old golfer who has been sidelined since injuring her wrist in February, is expected to compete in the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika, held May 31-June 3 at RiverTowne Country Club in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on a sponsor's exemption, The Post and Courier in Charleston reported today.

The official announcement will come at a press conference today at RiverTowne with Annika Sorenstam, Bobby Ginn and LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens. If she does play, it would be Wie's first event since the injury, which kept her out of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, won by another teenage golf phenomenon, Morgan Pressel.

"She has not yet been cleared (medically) to play, but her agent told me in all likelihood she would play," said Kent Atherton, president and COO of Ginn Sports Entertainment, as reported by the The Post and Courier. "We're thrilled. This will be the return of the LPGA to South Carolina, we're honoring the legends of the LPGA, and one of the greatest players is our host. We're delighted to bring the bright stars of the future in our inaugural year."

Michelle Wie turned professional in 2005. She has never won an LPGA Tour event but has shown strong potential at the majors. Last year, she finished third at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

If Wie competes in South Carolina, she may or may not face a field that includes Annika Sorenstam. The 36-year-old's participation isn't certain because of the back injury that forced her to withdraw from the Ginn Open in Florida earlier this month. Sorenstam has said her goal is to return to the LPGA Tour for the Ginn Tribute, but the herniated and ruptured disk will keep her off the golf course for at least another three weeks.

April 24, 2007

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