Wie Leads Impressive Group of Rookies at Sybase Classic

Clifton, NJ - An exciting group of LPGA Tour rookies are expected to compete at the Sybase® Classic presented by ShopRite for the first time, May 14 - 17. Nineteen year-old Michelle Wie heads the list of dynamic youngsters. 2008 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament champion Stacy Lewis, reigning RICOH Women's British Open champion Jiyai Shin, 2008 Duramed FUTURES Tour Player of the Year Vicky Hurst and former LPGA of Japan (JLPGA) star Shiho Oyama are also expected to compete at the 20th annual LPGA Tour event held at historic Upper Montclair Country Club.

"We are very happy to have these talented newcomers join the Sybase Classic," said Tournament Executive Director Andy Bush. "This tournament is committed to bringing in the best and brightest LPGA stars. This is a great opportunity for fans to see the future of the LPGA Tour."

Wie rose to fame with a storied amateur career. She first competed in a LPGA event at the 2002 LPGA Takefuji Classic when she became the youngest player to Monday qualify for a LPGA event at the age of 12 years, 4 months, 14 days. In 2003, at the age of 13, Wie made her mark as the youngest USGA champion in an adult event when she won the USGA Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.

Wie qualified for the LPGA Tour through the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in her first attempt in December 2008. She earned a runner-up finish in her first event of 2009 at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay.

Lewis was the 2007 NCAA Division I National Champion and a four-time All-American while at the University of Arkansas. She turned pro in June 2008 and finished tied for third shortly after at the U.S. Women's Open. She outplayed Wie and others at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in December to earn medalist honors and LPGA membership for 2009.

In 2008, Shin became the first non-LPGA member to win three events: the RICOH Women's British Open; Mizuno Classic; and season-ending ADT Championship, where she crossed the $1 million mark in season earnings. The 20 year-old became this year's first Rolex First-Time Winner at the HSBC Women's Champions, which was also her first official victory as a LPGA member.

Eighteen year-old Hurst was consistently one of the nation's best amateurs until turning pro in March 2008 when she joined the Duramed FUTURES Tour. She won five events and recorded five additional top-10 finishes on her way to being named Duramed FUTURES Tour Rookie and Player of the Year.

Thirty-one year-old Oyama has competed professionally on the LPGA of Japan Tour since 2000, winning 12 events. She earned LPGA membership at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament with a tie for fourth.

Ticket, sponsorship and volunteer information is available at www.sybaseclassic.com. Those 15 and under are admitted free all week with a ticketed adult.

Topics: Press Release

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