Michelle Wie West is looking ahead. And, for the foreseeable future, saying goodbye to the LPGA Tour.
Wie West told Golfweek‘s Beth Ann Nichols that she plans to play next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles in North Carolina before stepping away from the LPGA Tour. Beyond that, Wie West is only planning for the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach at this time.
It’s not a set-in-stone retirement — “I’m definitely not ruling anything out,” she told Nichols — but she is ready for the next chapter.
Wie West, 32, has battled injuries for much of her career and has played sparingly over the last few years. She entered five events in 2019, missed three cuts and withdrew from another tournament. She took 2020 off and gave birth to her daughter, Makenna, in June 2020, and made a brief return to play six events (making two cuts) in 2021.
Her only event this year has been the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in January. She opened with a one-under 71 but closed 78-78-81 and tied for 28th.
Her health was a big factor in her decision to step away.
“At times, if I do play a lot of golf I’m just in bed,” she told Nichols. “Or I can’t lift (Makenna) up, and that scared me.”
Wie West was dubbed the next big thing in women’s golf at a young age, and her list of accomplishments as a teenager have bene well-documented.
At 12 years old she was the youngest player to ever qualify for an LPGA event, and a year later she became the youngest player to ever make a cut in an LPGA event and also at the U.S. Women’s Open.
In 2004, she received a sponsor’s exemption into the Sony Open and became the youngest female to ever play on the PGA Tour.
Wie West enrolled at Stanford in 2007 but continued to play professionally. She won her first LPGA event in 2009 and has five total wins in her career, including the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst, her lone major title.
Wie West told Nichols that her major title and Stanford degree (she graduated in 2012), put her at peace with her decision.
“Because I accomplished both of those, I think I feel very happy in my decision now,” Wie West 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.”
You can read Nichols’ full report on Wie West on Golfweek here.