Wie should go back to school, says Sorenstam

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The Independent Online

The 15-year-old Hawaiian is in Lancashire, along with the rest of the world's best women golfers, to play in the last of the season's majors, the Women's British Open. But the way she is going about her business is proving highly controversial and yesterday the world No 1 golfer, Annika Sorenstam, joined in.

There are two camps when it comes to Wie. One says she is right to test herself to the ultimate by playing with the adults, both men and women; the other says she should learn the exceedingly difficult art of winning by competing in her own age group and for her country in international events.

Yesterday Sorenstam appeared to favour the latter camp, one originally established by Tiger Woods and one that has already produced Paula Creamer. Asked what she was doing when a 15-year-old golfer, the Swede said: "I didn't play in any LPGA events. I was playing in junior events around the world for the Swedish national team."

Wie, who would have won over £400,000 this season if allowed to keep the money her finishing positions would have earned, is in no doubt she is doing the right thing. "I can learn the art of winning out here," she said about the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour.

But so far she has not. Her two runners-up spots have come with no pressure whatsoever when finishing miles behind Sorenstam at the LPGA Championship and Creamer last week in the Evian Masters. When she led the US Women's Open after three rounds, she took 82 in the fourth, which illustrates just how hard it is to win at the top level.

Laura Davies, who won this event in 1986 before it became a major, believes Wie needs to do "whatever she needs to do to make herself happy". The British woman has always done just that and one more major win would see her achieve a career ambition to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The defending champion, Kent's Karen Stupples, has had a quiet year after her sensational win at Sunningdale last year, featuring an eagle, albatross start to the final round. "I expect so much more now," she said. "I know what my potential is and I want to do it all the time."