Teenaged golf sensation Michelle Wie has announced she is turning professional just six days before her 16th birthday.
The 1.83-meter Hawaiian made the announcement Wednesday morning in Honolulu, saying "From the first time I grabbed a golf club, I knew I loved it. Twelve years later, I'm turning pro and I'm so excited." The announcement was timed to allow Wie to make it to class at the Punahou high school, where she is a junior.
She has already signed endorsement deals with Nike and Sony worth an estimated $10 million, making her the world's highest paid women's golfer. As a 13-year-old, Wie won the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship. At 14, Wie narrowly missed becoming the first woman to make the cut on the men's U.S. tour since 1945.
Wie will be unable to join the Ladies Professional Golfers Association tour until she turns 18. But she will make her professional debut next week, playing on a sponsor's exemption at the Samsung World Championship in Palm Desert, California.
Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.