Wie clears first hazard in US Open qualifying

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The Independent Online

Another day, another first for Michelle Wie. On Monday she became the first female to be invited to play on the men's European Tour; yesterday she became the first female to make it through the first qualifying stages for the men's US Open event.

The Hawaiian can even claim to be the first female to win a professional men's tournament as her level-par round of 72 at the Turtle Bay Resort on her home island of Oahu was the best score in the field of 40. It was a nerveless display as only three players went forward to final qualifying in New Jersey on 5 June.

If Wie can prevail there she will become the first female to play in a men's major. "The possibility of playing at Winged Foot? It's the US Open, the name speaks for itself," she said after signing her card that contained four birdies. "It's one of a kind."

So, too, is Wie, as her legend grows by the hour despite her still waiting for her first victory in the professional women's ranks.

Yesterday she was also granted an exemption to play in the US Women's Open in Newport, Rhode Island, next month.

Morgan Pressel, her fellow teenaged prodigy, said: "I don't see why she shouldn't have to qualify like everyone else."

Because she's Michelle Wie, that's why.

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