Wie earns her LPGA Tour card

It is never too late to start fulfilling your potential, and that is what Michelle Wie is doing. Still only 19, Wie claimed her place in next year’s LPGA Tour after securing a top-20 finish at the Qualifying School in Daytona Beach, Florida.

After years of hype, missed cuts on the men’s tours, big sponsorship deals and wrist injuries, Wie took the simple route to life as a professional.

She finished with a round of two-over-par 74 for a five-day total of 12-under 348 and a share of seventh place.

With former world number one Annika Sorenstam retiring from pro golf, Wie could end up as the new drawcard on the women’s tour, though she would have learned form her past lessons and tread wearily on her expectations.

It could be the re-birth of Wie, who burst on to the scene as a 14-year-old. As she said after her round in an AFP article, she doesn’t want a free lunch She said:

“I wanted to earn this. It’s really a gratifying moment right now. To go through the first stage, to go through the second stage, and finishing – it’s nice. It’s weird because when I was in rehab and trying to get the wrist better, I was just telling myself I want to get back to where I was. It’s impossible. You will never be who you were when you were 14 or 15, that’s sad if you are. You move forward. I’m a completely different person now.”

While Wie provided a fresh face to the women’s pro tour, a handful of veterans from the men’s side revived their careers when they emerged through Q-School for the US PGA Tour next season.

Among them were former PGA Tour winners Notah Begay III, a former Stanford teammate of Tiger Woods, John Huston, Glen Day, Ted Purdy, Jay Williamson and Chis Riley.

But the star of the Q-School at La Quinta, California was Harrison Frazar, who scored a 59 on his way to a 32-under-par 400. He is also a former tour player, having played 300 events without winning.

Derek Fathauer, who played all four rounds at the US Open this year as an amateur, and James Nitties tied for second.

The re-emergence of Begay is a personal triumph for the golfer of Native American heritage. He has won four times on the tour but has struggled with personal problems.

He said after qualifying that he would often speak to Tiger and used the world number one as an inspiration to help him secure a place among the 28 golfers who earned their 2009 card.

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