Professional golfer and philanthropist, Michelle Wie

15 08 2008

À§¼º¹Ì/YONHAP NO-95 SHIK (REUTERS)Professional golfer Michelle Wie was named one of “100 people who shape our world” in a 2006 Times magazine article. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii to Korean-born parents, Michelle began playing golf at the age of four. She turned professional at age 15 and said, “The first time I grabbed a golf club, I knew that I’d do it for the rest of my life.”

In 2002 she became  the youngest player to qualify for an LPGA event, at the age of 12. A few months later, Michelle became the youngest person ever, male or female, to win a USGA adult event.

Former World No. 1 professional golfer Fred Couples has commented,

“When you see her hit a golf ball […] there’s nothing that prepares you for it. It’s just the scariest thing you’ve ever seen.”

Arnold Palmer has said, “she’s probably going to influence the golfing scene as much as Tiger, or more. She’s going to attract people that even Tiger didn’t attract, young people, both boys and girls, and families.”

On October 5, 2005, a week before her 16th birthday, Michelle turned professional, signing sponsorship contracts with Nike and Sony worth more than $10 million per year.

At the same time she announced a pledge of half a million dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief.

In her free time? Michelle is enrolled at Stanford University and goes on (The latter is unconfirmed).

She enrolled as a freshmen in September of 2007. Unfortunately, she’s not eligible to play for Stanford’s golf team because it would be unfair to competing schools.

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