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This is progress?

Michelle Wie often refers to herself as a “work in progress.” She’s young, we get that. But it’s difficult to keep giving her the benefit of the doubt when she continues to make poor choices.

Two days after Wie suffered an embarrassing DQ at the LPGA State Farm Classic, the announcement came that she’s teeing it up against the men July 31 at the PGA Tour’s Legends Reno-Tahoe Open. It’s unlikely this opportunity came about overnight. Surely Camp Wie mulled this one over well before her fine play in Springfield. The event is held the same week as the Ricoh Women’s British Open, an event Wie didn’t qualify for this year.

“It’s not every day that a woman is given the opportunity to play on the greatest tour in the world,” Wie said in a statement.

True. But this marks the eighth time she will play on the PGA Tour before age 19. Regardless of how Wie fared against a weak field at State Farm, her game and psyche isn’t ready to take on the Hooters Tour, much less the PGA Tour.

That’s not to say that Wie shouldn’t ever tee it up in a PGA Tour event. But it certainly shouldn’t happen for a very long time. Like, say, after she’s won more LPGA titles than Paula Creamer (if that ever happens).

The LPGA needs a healthy, competitive Wie in the field on a weekly basis – and pronto. She’s their ticket to increased sponsorship opportunities and more lucrative TV contracts.

The best thing Wie can do to grow the game and herself is build confidence playing against the most talented women in the world.

Beat them, earn their respect and then we’ll talk about progress.

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