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Ex-Cats Berganio, Purdy make it through PGA Q-school

Wie gets ‘clean slate’

Former University of Arizona star David Berganio made life a bit easier for himself for the 2009 PGA Tour.

Berganio, 39, would have been playing on a medical exemption with five events to win $346,345 and remain fully exempt, but he won his tour card by finishing in a tie for seventh at the PGA Tour qualifying tournament on Monday.

Ex-Wildcat Ted Purdy, also kept his card by finishing tied for 18th.

He had to go to Q-school after finishing 191st on the 2008 money list.

Purdy has a PGA Tour win – the 2005 EDS Byron Nelson Championship.

Former Arizona players Jason Gore, Robert Gamez and Ricky Barnes failed to qualify, as did Sahuaro High School grad Rich Barcelo, ex-Sabino player Willie Wood and Canyon del Oro grad Ryan Hietala.

Wie gets ‘clean slate’

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Michelle Wie has a clean slate for a future that remains muddled.

Considering all she has gone through, there’s simply no telling what will happen next.

When she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at 13, it would have been hard to imagine her going six years without another trophy to call her own.

And when she had a share of the lead on the back nine of three majors her first year as a pro, who could have guessed she would be fighting for her future at Q-school just two years later?

Then again, with an average score last year of 76.7 – no rounds in the 60s, only two better than par – what would have been the odds that she could even survive Q-school to earn LPGA Tour membership?

“I have a clean slate,” she said. “I took the long way to get here, but I feel really good about it.”

But as much as Wie wants to move forward, it will be difficult for her to escape expectations created by her past.

There remains a fascination about the 19-year-old from Hawaii that even the LPGA Tour brass finally recognized.

Tour officials erected a tiny grandstand behind the 18th green for the final stage of Q-school, and a crowd close to 500 that surrounded the green Sunday when Wie finished was about 475 more than who usually watches this event.

Swing coach David Leadbetter was asked if the LPGA Tour needed Wie as much as she needed the tour, and he found his answer walking up the final hole with a couple of hundred fans who had gone the distance.

“Look around,” he said.

The question is whether that fascination continues now that Wie looks more like everyone else.

Q-school winner Stacy Lewis, the former NCAA champion from Arkansas who went 5-0 in the Curtis Cup this summer in her last amateur event, was the latest who couldn’t figure out from a player’s perspective why Wie received so much attention.

Such thinking used to be naive, but now it is a fair question because of Wie’s struggles the past few years.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

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For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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