HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Michelle Wie has been the headliner of the Sony Open in Hawaii since she first played in it in 2004, as a 14-year-old amateur, and nearly made the cut. This year, she was not offered a sponsor's exemption, and there is scant evidence that she ever played here.
The Honolulu Advertiser, for instance, had a 20-page special section in advance of the Sony Open, and her name appeared only twice, and both times in stories on other players. She wasn't mentioned until the 12th paragraph of a story on Tadd Fujikawa and the 15th paragraph of a story on Paul Goydos. In the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, it was the eighth paragraph of a story in Wednesday's paper before she was mentioned.
A native of Hawaii, Wie has been displaced as a teen idol by Fujikawa, a 17-year-old high school junior and a Honolulu resident who tied for 20th in the Sony last year as an amateur. Fujikawa is playing this year as a professional.
Moreover, a second 17-year-old Honolulu golfer is in the field as well, Alex Ching, a high school senior who gained a spot in amateur qualifying.
Wie, it turns out, is not only gone, but forgotten as well -- for the moment, anyway.
-- John Strege