"Michelle has demonstrated her outstanding golfing skills to a global audience as both an amateur and now as a professional, and we look forward to welcoming her," said George O'Grady, the chief executive of the European tour - a remarkable volte-face by a man who had previously been sceptical about offering women invitations to play in men's events.
Eight months ago O'Grady dismissed the practice as a "gimmick". But in golf nothing speaks as loudly as sponsorship money. The European Masters is sponsored by Omega and Wie this year signed a sponsorship deal with the watchmakers.
A golf course may be said to have to satisfy, amongst other things, three definite requirements. It supplies the opportunity for the pleasure of practicing an athletic art; it entails the necessity of providing a adequate test of skill and lastly, it is a disciplinary scheme by which the virtuous cannot be rewarded without a penalty being inflicted on the sinner. TOM SIMPSON and H.N. WETHERED