Michelle Wie: Not Your Average Teen

<b>Steve Kroft</b> Profiles Teenage Golf Sensation Michelle Wie

Lots of teenage girls dream of becoming rich and famous. But it's not a fantasy for Michelle Wie. Just before her 16th birthday last fall, she became the highest-paid woman golfer in history simply by turning professional and lending her name to commercial endorsements that will pay her between $10 million and $12 million a year, most of which will go into a trust fund until she becomes an adult.

Wie has been a celebrity since she was 13, when people began predicting she would become the Tiger Woods of women's golf. But, as correspondent Steve Kroft reports, that has never been enough for Wie. She wants to become the first woman ever to successfully compete with men in a professional sport. She has tried a couple of times on the PGA Tour without embarrassing herself.

As you will see, she has changed a lot since we first talked to her way back in 2004, when she was 14.



At the time, Wie told Kroft her ultimate goal was to play in the Masters.

"I think it'd be pretty neat walking down the Masters fairways," she said.

It was a neat dream for a 14-year-old kid. Nothing has happened in the last two years to change Wie's mind or shake her confidence.

She is stronger now, more mature and glamorous. She has already demonstrated that she can play herself into the middle of the pack against the best men on the PGA Tour and has come within a shot of winning her first two starts on the LPGA Tour this year as a part-time professional.

The day before 60 Minutes interviewed her at the Fields Open in Honolulu, she shot a final round of 66, coming from six strokes off the lead to just miss a playoff.

"You won your first check yesterday," Kroft says.

"Uh-huh," Wie says. "It was, it was really cool. I mean, I was like looking at how much I won. I was like 'Oh my God.' "

Wie says she won around $72,000.

Asked whether she gets to keep that money, Wie said she didn't know.

"I'm trying to negotiate with my dad how much I can spend of that, and stuff like that. We're still working it out. But, you know, I'm definitely gonna go shopping today," she says, laughing.

Half of her life is spent in the adult world, competing with men and women twice her age for paychecks they may need to make expenses and dealing with the media, sponsors and marketing executives. The rest of the time she is a junior at Punahou High School in Honolulu, where she is an A student and claims to lead the life of a typical 16-year-old.

"Well, I have a math test tomorrow that I haven't studied for at all. Which I'm kind of worried for," she says, laughing.

What about boys?

"Not yet," she says.

"And the boys, I'm sure, at your high school are probably a little intimidated," Kroft says.

"Well, I don't know, I mean, that's what everyone else says," she replies, laughing. "But I don't really care. I'm way too busy as it is."

She has already been on the David Letterman Show, graced countless magazines and played golf with former President Clinton, who, she claims, can be rather vague when recording his score.

  • Daniel Schorn

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