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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 9, 2006

Wie an honorary member at Waialae

By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer

Michelle Wie

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Five months ago, 15-year-old Michelle Wie signed professional golf endorsement contracts worth millions. Now she can sign for lunch at Waialae Country Club.

Waialae president Jim Burns gave Wie one of two honorary memberships he is allowed to distribute. She will be a full member until Burns' term ends, Jan. 31, and is already practicing for her fourth Sony Open in Hawai'i.

Part of Burns' thought process in picking Wie was that she had "advanced so rapidly" many in Hawai'i did not get a chance to know her.

"It's like a one-year Pro-Am for her," Burns said. "I asked her to be as friendly to her fellow members as she possibly can and play with them as much as she can. Let them get to know her and become part of the Waialae family.

"Waialae has an awful lot of good members representative of the community so they can spread the word best."

Wie, now 16, became the club's youngest full member. WCC by-laws do not let people apply for membership until they are 20. By-laws allowing the president freedom to choose honorary members supersede that in the mind of Burns, who is a judge.

Reach Ann Miller at amiller@honoluluadvertiser.com.