Published: Oct 17, 2011 11:17 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 18, 2011 6:30 AM EDT

HONG KONG (AP) - Former teenage golf prodigy Michelle Wie says LPGA newcomer Lexi Thompson has what it takes to compete on the pro circuit.

The 16-year-old Thompson will become the youngest player on the tour next year and Wie, who turned professional shortly before her 16th birthday in 2005 amid enormous media hype and a flood of endorsements, has backed her to be a success.

Wie told The Associated Press on Monday that Thompson "definitely has the game" for the pro circuit and was confident the teenager could deal with the pressures of making the transition from the amateur game.

Even allowing for "the ups and downs," Wie said that Thompson would "be fine."