Michelle Wie

, who has played the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Hawaii every year since 2004, did not receive one of the four unrestricted sponsor exemptions, tournament director

Ray Stosik

said yesterday.

Swing coach David Leadbetter said the 18-year-old from Honolulu likely would ask for exemptions at one or both of the LPGA events in Hawaii that kick off the women's golf season in February. He also said competition against the men probably would be on hold until Wie gets her health and her game back together.

"She's not ready to play in that yet," Leadbetter said of the Sony Open, where Wie first rose to fame by shooting 68 at age 14 and missing the cut by one shot. "Her health is getting better, her game is getting better, the confidence is growing. The plan hasn't been made totally for this year yet, but she's looking to play one or two Hawaiian events against the women.

"The whole goal is to get back on track after the debacle last year."

The debacle included Wie trying to play despite both wrists being injured. She made only three cuts in nine starts, withdrew twice and only broke par two times. She also endured harsh criticism from Annika Sorenstam, who was angered by Wie pulling out of the Swede's tournament, only to be seen hitting balls on the range at the next tournament.

"She knows she's got to earn people's respect back," Leadbetter said. "She's grown up in some ways. She seems a little more independent. She's a lot happier."

Sport Stops

* The United States would play its first-ever World Cup qualifier at Cuba on Sept. 6 if both nations advance to the semifinals of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

* ESPN anchor Stuart Scott will return to the air tonight after an emergency appendectomy last month revealed a malignant tumor.

* Italian cyclist Marco Fertonani was suspended for doping for the maximum 2 years by the Italian cycling federation. Fertonani tested positive for testosterone at the Tour of the Mediterranean in February.

* The ownership of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Curlin has changed. Jess Jackson bought out another partner and now has an 80 percent interest in the 3-year-old colt. *