Honolulu, HI . . . In this season of giving, a special gift for Hawaii has been dropped under the Christmas Palm at Turtle Bay’s Palmer Course by 15-year-old golf prodigy, Michelle Wie. Wie has accepted an invitation to play in the LPGA’s newest event, the SBS Open at Turtle Bay, February 21-26, 2005.
With an exemption from Title Sponsor, Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), Hawaii’s junior golf phenom joins the elite of the LPGA for their first full-field competition of the year 2005. Wie will go head-to-head with the likes of Annika Sorenstam, Grace Park, Se Ri Pak, Christie Kerr and rookie standout, Paula Creamer, on the championship Arnold Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort. For amateur Wie, honor is at stake, but for the pros, a $150,000 first place prize comes with the honor from the $1,000,000 event purse.
A five year commitment by SBS, ensures that Korea’s leading independent television network, will not only broadcast the exciting competition set against the stunning backdrop of Oahu’s North Shore to the Pan-Asian television audience, but showcase Hawaii to a ready tourism target. THE GOLF CHANNEL will provide domestic and some additional world coverage Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 24, 25 and 26.
During 2004 Wie played in six LPGA events including the prestigious Kraft Nabisco finishing in fourth place. That event marked her second straight top 10, and her best showing in any pro tournament. She was the youngest member of the Curtis Cup team’s tournament history, winning two singles matches for the U.S., while wowing British fans. Other notable 2004 performances were at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship where she nearly succeeded in the defense of her national title, at the U.S. Women’s Open and at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Wie made a splash in Europe at the Evian Ladies Masters and completed her year on the opposite side of the world at the Samsung World event.
The LPGA roster of players includes formidable representation from Korea-born golfers who have become some of the most exciting and talented professionals in the world today. Korean-American Wie adds her youthful exuberance and unusual prowess to the field, drawing the media spotlight not only to her exceptional game, but to the exceptional beauty of Hawaii at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay 2005.
Ticket sales proceeds for the event benefit Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc. For further information regarding tournament tickets, sponsorships and promotions call 808-792-9333.