Amateur Career: 2000–2005
Wie began playing golf at the age of four. In 2000, at the age of ten, she became the youngest player ever to qualify for the Women's U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Eight years later, Wie's mark was surpassed by fellow Hawaiian Allisen Corpuz, who qualified when she was five months younger than Wie had been when she set the record. In 2001, at the age of 11, she won both the Hawaii State Women’s Stroke Play Championship and the Jennie K. Wilson Women’s Invitational, the oldest and most prestigious women’s amateur tournament in Hawaii. She also advanced into match play at the Women's U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
In 2002, she won the Hawaii State Open Women's Division by thirteen shots. She also became the youngest player to qualify for an LPGA event, the Takefuji Classic held in Wie's home state of Hawaii. While she went on to miss the cut, her record stood for five more years until it was broken in 2007 by 11-year-old Ariya Jutanugarn.
At the 2003 Kraft Nabisco Championship, Wie became the youngest player to make an LPGA cut. She carded a 66 in the third round, tying the amateur record for a women's major championship and qualifying her to play in the final group of the championship. In June 2003, Wie won the Women's Amateur Public Links tournament, becoming the youngest person ever, male or female, to win a USGA adult event. Later that summer, she made the cut at the US Women's Open when she was still just 13, the youngest player ever to do so.
Wie was given a sponsor's exemption to the 2004 Sony Open in Hawaii, becoming the fourth, and youngest, female to play a PGA Tour event. Her second round score of 68 was the lowest ever by a woman in a PGA Tour event, though she went on to miss the cut in the tournament. She again played in the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, finishing fourth. As part of the victorious U.S. team, she became the youngest woman ever to play in the Curtis Cup tournament. Wie started her 2005 season by accepting another sponsor's invitation to play on the PGA Tour at the Sony Open in Hawaii, where she again missed the cut. She played five more LPGA Tour events that year as well as a PGA Tour event, the John Deere Classic. It was her third outing at a PGA Tour event; she missed the cut by two strokes. She entered qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Public Links and became the first female golfer to qualify for a USGA national men's tournament, tying for first place in a 36-hole qualifier for the U.S. Amateur Public Links. Wie made the top 64 in the stroke play rounds to qualify for match play. She lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Clay Ogden.
On October 5, 2005, a week before her 16th birthday, Wie announced that she was turning professional. She signed sponsorship contracts with Nike and Sony reportedly worth more than $10 million per year.
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Famous quotes containing the word amateur:
“The true gardener then brushes over the ground with slow and gentle hand, to liberate a space for breath round some favourite; but he is not thinking about destruction except incidentally. It is only the amateur like myself who becomes obsessed and rejoices with a sadistic pleasure in weeds that are big and bad enough to pull, and at last, almost forgetting the flowers altogether, turns into a Reformer.”
—Freya Stark (18931993)