Notebook: Michelle Wie named as Youth Olympic Games ambassador

Michelle Wie
Getty Images
Michelle Wie helped golf get back into the Olympics, and now she has an official position.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Michelle Wie is getting her second taste of the Olympics – first as a spectator, next as an ambassador. 

Wie has been chosen to be an ambassador for the Youth Olympic Games when golf makes its debut next summer. Wie was 10 when she qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, and she became the youngest USGA winner of an adult championship when she captures the WAPL three years later in Florida at 13. 

She turned professional at 16 and has two LPGA Tour wins. 

"I'm hoping to teach young people to have fun with their game, to be competitive, to really want something and to realize the importance of having a dream," Wie said. "I think it's really important to inspire young people to take up sports. It's important to be active and be outdoors." 

Wie said she was inspired to make the Olympic team in 2016 after attending the London Games last year. 

"It's one of my biggest focuses, making the American team for Rio," she said. 

THE PRO & THE AM: Huey Lewis had to pull out of the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, which might have been the best thing to ever happen to Bradley Neill in more ways than he can count. 

The 17-year-old Scottish Boys champion was asked to fill in for the rock singer, meaning four days with former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein. Neill watched Uihlein narrowly miss a shot at 59 at Kingsbarns, holed out for eagle at St. Andrews to take the lead and lose in a playoff. 

And then it got even better. 

Uihlein donated his prize from the pro-am – 10,000 pounds (about $16,000) – to the Scottish Golf Union to help pay for Neill's golfing expenses. 

"Bradley was a pleasure to partner and I was very impressed with his performance," Uihlein said. "He has a great chance of achieving success in the game if he continues to work hard. I will be following his career and hope the donation can play some small part in helping him progress in the right direction." 

Neill said he was nervous to being playing a European Tour event – Ernie Els was in his group – but that Uihlein made it comfortable and enjoyable. 

"The experience will stay with me for a long time, and I hope it's not the last time we play together," Neill said. 

SEE YOU AT THE SHOOTOUT: Lee Westwood is making the most of his new home in Florida by playing in Greg Norman's Franklin Templeton Shootout at the end of the year. 

Westwood, Billy Horschel and Retief Goosen will be the newcomers to one of the oldest Silly Season events – and about the only one left. It will be played Dec. 13-15 at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples. Sean O'Hair and Kenny Perry will return to defend their title. The field has four players from the top 10 in the world ranking – PGA Champion Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar and Steve Stricker. 

Still to be determined are two more players and the 12 two-man pairings. 

DIVOTS: Bernhard Langer, Fred Funk and Kenny Perry will be the Champions Tour team in the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge to be played Nov. 12 at Rio Secco outside Las Vegas. ... The Volvo Champions on the European Tour will return to Durban Country Club in South Africa on Jan. 9-12. The field is limited to winners from 2013, along with current tour members with at least 10 career wins. ... Don Padgett II is retiring next year as president and chief operating officer of Pinehurst. Padgett worked at Firestone before coming to Pinehurst in 2004. He will be general chairman of the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open, to be held next year in successive weeks at Pinehurst No. 2. 

STAT OF THE WEEK: The winner of the opening two PGA Tour events of the 2013-14 season led the tournament in the key putting statistic. 

FINAL WORD: "I'm happy to be in the top 50, but I've only been there the last six months or so. The real test from now on is whether I can stay in the top 50. It's a lot easier to get there and a lot harder to stay there." – Hideki Matsuyama.