Trouble Surrounds Michelle Wie

The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 6, 2007; 1:15 AM

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. -- Phil Mickelson withdrew because of a wrist injury and flew home to San Diego for an MRI. He saw two doctors, had one cortisone shot and decided to withdraw from his next tournament. Michelle Wie withdrew because of a wrist injury and went to the range to hit balls. In fairness, at least she took a day off.

Maybe that made her left wrist feel better, but it did nothing to quell the mounting criticism around her.

That the 17-year-old from Honolulu would walk out of the Ginn Tribute last week with only two holes left in the first round is suspicious enough. The LPGA Tour has a rule that nonmembers who don't break 88 _ and Wie was two bogeys away from that _ cannot play again for the rest of the year.

Worse yet was showing up at Bulle Rock on the weekend to hit balls. She played the pro-am Monday at the LPGA Championship, practiced some more on Tuesday and has no expectations for the second major of the year, conceding she is not at her best.

That didn't sit well with the LPGA Tour's biggest star _ Annika Sorenstam _ who happened to be the tournament host at the Ginn.

"I just feel that there's a little bit of lack of respect and class just to leave a tournament like that and then come out and practice here," said Sorenstam, who soldiered on for four days despite returning from a back and neck injury.

"It's a little funny that you pull out with an injury and then you start grinding. My doctor told me to rest."

Sorenstam was quick to note that Wie received a sponsor's exemption to the tournament. That means she was invited. The feeling on the LPGA Tour is that Wie has mistaken invitation for entitlement.

Only it is becoming apparent that Wie doesn't see it that way.

She opened her press conference Tuesday afternoon wanting to clarify a few issues from last week. One suspected there might be an apology to the tournament sponsors for a situation beyond her control. Instead, she explained when she injured her wrist during the tournament (first hole), how she injured her wrist in the first place (running in a park) and that she still wasn't 100 percent.

"I'm going through a hard time," she said. "It's my first time facing an injury."

Asked about Sorenstam's criticism, Wie said nothing was said to her and she had nothing to say back.

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