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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wie will attend Stanford next year

By Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Hawai'i's Michelle Wie celebrated her first victory of the year she got accepted to Stanford.

The 17-year-old senior at Punahou School said yesterday she would enroll in the fall, dispelling any talk she would concentrate exclusively on her professional golf career once she finished high school.

"No one really believed me," Wie said from Orlando, Fla., where she is working with swing coach David Leadbetter. "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 has been mixing school and tour golf since she played three LPGA Tour events at age 12. She turned professional in October 2005 and earned close to $20 million this year from endorsements, earnings and appearance money overseas.

And while she still hasn't won on the LPGA Tour she had three close calls in the majors Wie said her nerves were never more jangled than waiting to see if she had been accepted. She got the news Friday.

Wie's grandfather, an aunt and an uncle went to Stanford, and that was her first choice all along.

"I got an e-mail on Wednesday telling me the directions to find out online, with a password and pin code," she said. "I think they do that on purpose. They enjoy making people suffer for two days. I was counting down the days Friday at 1 p.m. was like doomsday. I was really stressed out. I had stomach aches, and Thursday I couldn't eat anything."

After a final exam Friday morning, she asked to be excused from English, bringing two friends to the computer lab to punch in the code and see if she had been accepted.

"They screamed, I screamed, we were reading the letter out loud, and everyone gave us these weird looks," she said.

Wie said two other students from Punahou also got into Stanford, while her best friends were accepted at Duke and Harvard. She did not know what she would study, narrowing it to business, economics or marketing. Wie will not be eligible to play NCAA golf.

Told that Tiger Woods lasted only two years at Stanford before he turned pro, Wie said, "Hopefully, I'll last a little longer."

Her father, BJ Wie, is a professor at the University of Hawai'i.

Wie has been one of the top headliners in women's golf since she became the youngest USGA champion at adult events by winning the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links in 2003 at 13. The same year, she played in the final group at an LPGA major. But that USGA title was her last victory.

Wie dreams of competing on the PGA Tour one day, but is 1 for 12 in making the cut against the men.