After her recent split with the William Morris Agency it was little surprise today that IMG announced that they had reached a worldwide management and marketing agreement with Michelle Wie (Photo: Scott MacLeod, Flagstick Golf Photography).
The 19 year is one of the most marketable figures in golf and based on her strong start in her first full year of LPGA Tour membership, that is likely to continue.
Here is the body of the message I received from IMG minutes ago:
LPGA TOUR PROFESSIONAL MICHELLE WIE SIGNS WITH IMG
IMG, the world’s premier sports, entertainment and media company, announced today that LPGA Tour professional Michelle Wie has signed with the company for exclusive worldwide management and marketing representation.
Although just 19-years old, Wie has been the center of attention in the golf world for many years after a prolific amateur career that saw her set a number of records for her accomplishments at a very young age. She has also earned a number of other important distinctions in the game including being the fourth female, and youngest ever, to play in a PGA TOUR event in 2004 as well as becoming the first female player to reach the Quarter Final of the Men’s Public Links in 2005, where she lost to the eventual Champion, Clay Ogden.
Wie holds the record for the lowest round shot by a female in a PGA TOUR event, scoring rounds of 68 in both the 2004 and 2006 Sony Opens, becoming the first female to register a round under 70 on the PGA TOUR in the process. In May, 2006, at age 16, she also became the first female medalist in a local qualifier for the Men’s U.S. Open.
“I’m very excited about this season which represents a fresh new start for me,” said Wie. “There is such great talent and competition on the LPGA Tour and my focus is on building the foundation for a long and successful career, and of course, getting that first tournament win. I believe that IMG, with all of their resources worldwide and achievements in professional golf, will help me reach those goals.”
Born October 11, 1989 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Wie began playing golf at the age of four and her rise was meteoric. In October, 2005, just a week shy of her 16th birthday, Wie turned professional, and last December, earned full playing status for the 2009 season by finishing in a tie for seventh place at the LPGA Tour Final Qualifying Tournament.
“We have all watched the rise in popularity of women’s golf, and Michelle Wie certainly is a prime example of the outstanding talent on the LPGA Tour and the bright future of the sport,” said Clarke Jones, Senior Vice President, Global Director Golf Clients for IMG. “Michelle is an amazing talent and IMG is delighted to be working with her and her family to provide the best management and marketing support in the world, allowing her to focus on her top priority – competing week in and week out on the golf course.”