LPGA Tour Creates Another On-The-Fly-Exemption

You gotta love the Wild West of tournament operations, better known as LPGA Tour headquarters:

Annika Sorenstam will get another crack at the Samsung World Championship, but only because the tournament changed its criteria to allow an exemption for an active member of the Hall of Fame.

Sorenstam is a five-time winner at Samsung, a limited field of 20 players held at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif on Oct. 11-14.

But she would not have been eligible this year under the previous guidelines that award spots to the defending champion, the four major champions of the year, the leader of the Ladies European Tour money list, with the rest of the field coming from the LPGA Tour money list.

Sorenstam is having one of the worst seasons of her career, missing nearly two months in the spring because of neck and back injuries. The 10-time major champion is 30th on the LPGA Tour money list and has gone more than a full year without winning.

In an effort to upgrade the event, tournament organizers decided to eliminate a criteria that has not been used in nine years - the option to offer an exemption to the U.S. Women's Amateur champion - and replace it with a spot for an active Hall of Famer.

Now that we know Michelle Wie's never going to win that or join the IMG roster of product! And as the story notes, this isn't the first time a new exemption was created to circumvent the previously announced setup.
The tournament created a sponsor's exemption for Michelle Wie in 2004, and the teenager from Hawaii made her professional debut at Big Horn in 2005. Wie also played last year and finished 17th, and she accepted another sponsor's exemption in March.