Wie targets American Dream of competing at Rio Olympics

Tue Mar 3, 2015 5:01am EST
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By John O'Brien

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Michelle Wie enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2014 when she captured her first major title and the American will spend the next 18 months chasing another dream -- competing at a Summer Olympics.

A teen prodigy, Wie was thrust into the limelight a decade ago when she competed against the men on several PGA Tour events but missed the cut in all of them and struggled to make an impact on the ladies tour after turning professional in 2005.

The 25-year-old finally fulfilled her potential with a first LPGA Tour title in 2009 and steady improvement over the years culminated in a two-shot U.S. Open triumph at Pinehurst last June.

Wie is targeting more major success this season but her main goal will be to tee off at the Rio Games in 2016, competing at an event she helped ensure became a reality as part of the team lobbying for golf's inclusion as an Olympic sport six years ago.

"Oh, yeah, I was actually in Copenhagen with the golf committee... people associated with the golf associations and we worked hard to get golf into the Olympics and we were very successful," Wie told reporters in Singapore on Tuesday ahead of this week's HSBC Women's Champions event.

"So since then, I've been working really hard and it's definitely a big goal of mine to make the U.S. Team."

The top 60 players in the world, with a maximum of four per country, on July 11, 2016 will be eligible to compete in Rio and with Wie currently sixth in the global rankings, the Hawaiian is on target to qualify for Brazil.

However, fellow Americans Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr, Jessica Korda, Angela Stanford and Paula Creamer are all ranked in the top 30 and will be gunning for one of the few spots available.   Continued...