Teenage sensation Michelle Wie will make her LPGA Tour return in March this year when she tees off at the Safeway International.
The 15-year-old Wie - who is allowed to accept six sponsor exemptions on the LPGA Tour - has accepted one of them to play in the tournament on 17-20
Wie's participation at the Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club will be her first appearance since playing in the Sony Open last year, where
she missed the cut by one shot.
"It was great being there last year," Wie said referring to the 2004 Safeway International.
She added: "I love the golf course, because it's in such good shape and it suits my game so well.
"All of the people in Phoenix were so great to me and my family, so it was an easy decision to come back. I had a wonderful time, and I'm looking
forward to coming back."
The Safeway competition will mark her second LPGA event of the 2005 season. She will also be competing in the SBS Open on 24-26 February in her
hometown of Honolulu. Tom Maletis, president of Tournament Golf Foundation, the organisers of the Safeway International, said they were honoured to
have Wie competing in the competition again.
"We are fortunate to have Michelle joining us again for our tournament," said Maletis.
In the 2004 tournament, Wie finished 2-under tying for 19th place while Annika Sorenstam, who has dominated women's golf in recent years, won by four
shots. But amazingly, it was the youngster who turned out to be the crowd favourite, drawing bigger galleries than Sorenstam. Wie's presence lured an
estimated 90,000 fans, about 15,000 more fans than in 2003.