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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wie signs reported $3 million deal

Associated Press

Michelle Wie

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SEOUL, South Korea Hawai'i pro golfer Michelle Wie signed an advertising contract with a South Korean real estate developer yesterday, as she wrapped up a trip here after succeeding in making the cut in a men's tournament.

Under the two-year contract, the 16-year-old Wie will appear in TV and newspaper commercials for ShinYoung Co., a developer that builds apartments and other buildings, the company said in a statement.

ShinYoung didn't disclose the amount of the contract, but South Korea's Yonhap news agency, without citing sources, reported the deal was worth $3 million.

Wie's "spirit shown in a series of competitions against men befits ShinYoung's image as a developer," the company said.

It said her commercials will be filmed in Hawai'i and New York starting later this month and will be shown from August.

Last week, Wie made the cut in a men's tournament for the first time in eight attempts while playing in the Asian Tour's SK Telecom Open. She finished 35th.

Wie was born and raised in Hawai'i, but her parents are South Korean. She speaks fluent Korean, has a Korean name Wie Sung-mi and many of her relatives, including grandparents, live here.

Because of that background, many South Koreans consider Wie Korean. Local media often include Wie among "Korean" golf stars playing in the United States, and the news agency Yonhap referred to her latest trip to Korea as a "visit to homeland."