Thursday, June 30, 2022

Michelle Wie West to step away from LPGA Tour after U.S. Women’s Open, won’t rule out 2023 return

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One of the biggest names in the women’s game announced on Thursday that she would be stepping away from the LPGA Tour. In an interview with Golfweek, Michelle Wie West confirmed her intent to play in next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, but that she would steer clear of competitive golf until next year’s championship.

“I’m definitely not ruling anything out,” said the 32-year-old

Wie West turned professional at the age of 15 with a mountain of expectations on her shoulders. While her career would not materialize into the LPGA version of Tiger Woods as many projected, Wie West was able to capture five Tour wins and her two biggest dreams: a U.S. Open crown and a degree from Stanford.

“Because I accomplished both of those, I think I feel very happy in my decision now,” she said. “I think if I hadn’t won the U.S. Open, I’d still be out there competing week to week trying to get that U.S. Open win.”

Wie West bursted onto the golf scene as a 10-year-old when she became the youngest ever to qualify for a USGA amateur championship. Just two years later, she set another record as the youngest to qualify for an LPGA event. At 13, she became the youngest to win an adult USGA championship with her victory at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.

In 2004, she became the fourth woman to play on the PGA Tour when she was given a sponsor’s invitation into the Sony Open. Wie West fired a 68 in the second round, the lowest score ever recorded from a woman on the men’s circuit, and she would tee it up alongside the men six more times.

Between a decorated amateur career, lofty prospects surrounding her professional career and her endeavors on the PGA Tour, Wie West has been in the spotlight for more than two decades now. In this time, she has faced numerous injuries, valleys in her game and her fair share of scrutiny. 

“I don’t have any regrets because I feel like I’ve always learned from every mistake that I’ve made,” she said. “I feel like even if it was a huge major fail, at least it makes for a good story now.”

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