Honolulu:Michelle Wie is returning home to Hawaii to play for the first time as a full-fledged U.S. LPGA Tour member.
The 19-year-old university student will kick off the season at the U.S. LPGA Tour's first full-field event, the SBS Open at Turtle Bay from Feb. 12-14.
"It feels like a clean slate, a new beginning, and I finally feel like I really earned it," Wie said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Arnold Palmer course has provided Wie with a couple of high points in her career.
She played Oahu's North Shore course in 2005 as a 15-year-old amateur and finished second. It was also at Turtle Bay in 2006 that she became the first woman to win a local qualifying tournament for the U.S. Open.
Wie has struggled since, injuring her wrists a couple of years ago, and it took a toll on her confidence. She had a difficult 2008 but ended the year at Q-school where she earned her U.S. LPGA card.
Wie told The Honolulu Advertiser daily this week she was planning to play a "full schedule" on the tour and will try other tours while continuing her education at Stanford University.
Whatever she does, the golf world will be watching to see if Wie can regain the confidence, ability and limitless promise she showed when she first played at Turtle Bay.
"I've matured a lot," she told the newspaper. "I can handle bad shots better. I can handle stuff not going as well as planned. Surprises and all that, they come with the game. I've had such a rough time, I know now how to handle stuff when it's not going my way."
Wie will make her first LPGA start since July 2008 when she was disqualified from the State Farm Classic, one shot behind going into the final round, when it was determined she had left the scoring area without signing her card after the second round.