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Michelle Wie West has revealed plans to step away from golf, with only one more event in her diary after next week’s US Women’s Open at Pine Needles. The 32-year-old revealed the stresses and strains of 20 years playing top level golf sometimes stopped her being able to lift Makenna, her baby daughter, so apart from next year’s Women’s Open at Pebble Beach, Wie West is, while not officially retiring, stepping away from the game with no plan to return.
“I’m definitely not ruling anything out,” the 2014 US Women’s Open champion told Golfweek (opens in new tab). “At times, if I do play a lot of golf, I’m just in bed. Or I can’t lift (Makenna) up, and that scared me.”
Wie West has only appeared once on the LPGA in 2022, enjoying a fine first day at the Hilton Grand Tournament of Champions in January, before the physical strains took their toll, carding an opening 71 before finishing 78, 78, 81.
Wie West steps away from the game having achieved her two biggest dreams - earning her degree from Stamford and winning the US Women’s Open. “Because I accomplished both of those, I think I feel very happy in my decision now,” she told Golfweek. “I think if I hadn’t won the US Open, I’d still be out there competing week to week trying to get that US Open win.”
Wie first hit the headlines as a 10-year-old when she became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship. By 12 she’d become the youngest player to qualify for an LPGA event, and at 13 she became the youngest to win an adult USGA championship and youngest to make the cut at an LPGA Major.
Having been brought up in Hawaii where she often competed against the opposite sex due to the lack of female players, Wie West decided to take on the men, playing seven PGA Tour events, shooting a 68 at the Sony Open, a record low for a female in a PGA Tour event, as she missed the cut by one stroke.
Wie West steps away from the game having won five LPGA Tour titles, the most recent in 2018, but some speculate that if she’d chosen a more traditional route she’d have won far more and dominated the female world rankings.
“I don’t have any regrets because I feel like I’ve always learned from every mistake that I’ve made,” she told Golfweek. “I feel like even if it was a huge major fail, at least it makes for a good story now. I am living life to the fullest.”
Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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