For Michelle Wie, it's sweet to be 16. The Hawaiian high schooler, who turned pro only in October, is already No. 2 in the women's world golf rankings. She tops the pay scale, pocketing about $10 million a year in endorsements from Nike and Sony. Her sponsors are betting on a player who has never won a pro tourney. "They believe in my dreams," she says.
Those dreams are big. Wie is driving her way straight through golf's formidable gender barriers. She refuses to limit herself to ladies' events and intends to be the first woman to play the Masters. She has the talent: her game has both power and finesse, and her tenacity is Tiger-like. With her pinup looks and giggly charm deployable in English, Korean, Japanese and teenspeak (pop star Rain, a fellow TIME 100 honoree, and Star Wars' Hayden Christensen are "supercute"; her prom dress this year is "soooo pink") she's already drawing new fans to golf around the globe. To quiet her skeptics, Wie will need to win titles, and she thinks this may be the year. "I can feel it coming," she says confidently. Fore!
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