Michelle Wie, the teen golf phenom, announced today that she would turn professional at a press conference at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Wie, who will turn 16 on October 11, also pledged to donate $500,000 to the U.S. Golf Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.
"I am grateful to be in a position to be able to lend a hand to the victims of Hurricane Katrina," Wie continued. "Turning professional affords me the ability to give back to those in need. Watching other Americans suffer the indignities that this storm has caused really drove home my desire to reach out."
And besides charity, turning pro finally allows her to take the latest equipment that she was deprived of as an amateur:
Wie will tee off at the Samsung World Championship next week in Palm Desert, Calif. playing Nike Golf’s new Sasquatch driver and fairway woods, joining Justin Leonard and K.J. Choi as some of the first to put golf’s latest advancements in club technology into play. Her affinity toward Nike Golf’s equipment, including the new Nike One Platinum golf ball, extends to Nike’s innovative performance apparel and footwear, which she will wear exclusively on Tour.
As she has been, for the last two years.