Wie rides popularity chart in Korea

Wie Sung-mi, better known as Michelle Wie, was born to South Korean-born immigrants.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:40 IST
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Wie Sung-mi, better known as Michelle Wie, was born to South Korean-born immigrants, but speaks fluent Korean and many of her relatives live in that country. Wie, is popular enough as it is, but the extent of her popularity in the land of her origin has even the 16-year-old bemused. "I really don't know, Maybe because I hit the ball far? Or maybe because I am tall? There are some people who think I look unique. I really don't know," said Michelle Wie, World No 2. That popularity cuts across all sports. Michelle Wie was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Incheon baseball stadium this Sunday. Changing focus But now Wie's focus will shift to the Asian Tour's SK Telecom Open that marks her latest attempt to prove herself alongside the men. Wie who turned pro last year, has missed out the US PGA Tour cut four times till now. Later in the month, she will attempt to become the first woman to play in the men's US Open by entering a local qualifier in Honolulu. This will be her second attempt. Last year, she failed to advance beyond the local qualifier. Off the greens, Michelle Wie looks to be on a roll. Having made it to Time Magazine's list of "Top 100 People Who Shape Our World." All she now needs to do is finally make that elusive cut in a men's tournament.