Home » Michelle Wie West Wants Another Shot at a Major
Golf Sports Today's Trend

Michelle Wie West Wants Another Shot at a Major

Michelle Wie West

Michelle Wie West is a 6-foot staple in popular memory and modern golf history.

When customers glanced around Pebble Beach’s Gallery Cafe or sat on the patio overlooking the cypress-guarded 18th green by Stillwater Cove, you could see the head tilts and darting glances. They appeared during a meal with Brandi Chastain and Kristi Yamaguchi, as well as on a stair climb and a stroll across a lobby.

Michelle Wie West

She did not win as much as she desired, and certainly not as much as many others expected or thought she should have. But, after over a quarter-century in the spotlight, she is still one of the smartest stars in women’s golf, a woman that many people outside of golf know as a star even if they don’t know golf.

The competitive golf aspect of Wie’s life will most likely be over by the time the US Women’s Open concludes at Pebble Beach on Sunday. If things don’t go well, which they might not because Wie West’s husband will be her caddie for the first time and she hasn’t played in a while, it could be done by Friday dusk. She has no plans to return to elite competition after the Open, while she avoids the phrase “retirement” in public (and admits to using it occasionally in private).

She competed in the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2000 when she was 10 years old and Bill Clinton was president. She won the event when she was 13, the same age at which she made an LPGA tournament cut and finished third on a major tournament’s weekend leaderboard. She played her first PGA Tour tournament at 14, turned professional at 15, had three top-five results in her first three majors as a pro, fought wrist pain, won the Open at 24, and then spent years with more injuries, cuts, and withdrawals than solid performances.

After all, it wasn’t that quick. However, it appears to be nearing completion. With a win this weekend or a surprise in the coming years, Michelle Wie West will end his career with five L.P.G.A. Tour victories, including the 2014 Open at Pinehurst, and will be tied for 69th on the career victory list. It adds up to a considerably greater career than most players, albeit it falls short of the lofty expectations that accompanied Michelle Wie West from the outset and stemmed from a combination of internet-age youth, talent, celebrity, and marketability. (By comparison, Inbee Park, a 34-year-old South Korean star, has won seven majors but has long received a fraction of the media attention that Wie West did.)

“What’s the right word for this?” Wie West stated in an interview in a sun-drenched lounge, well away from any aides.

“I feel very — confident that I had the career that I wanted,” she eventually added. “Of course, I wish I could have done more.” “I believe anyone and everyone believes that.”

“The what-ifs and regrets and ‘I wish I could have done this better’ can drive you truly insane,” she said.

Even last year’s announcement of a transition, to use her preferred phrase, was thwarted when her husband contracted Covid-19 and Wie West’s parents stayed behind to assist with child care. Wie West arrived at the 2022 Open in North Carolina practically alone, ready to chronicle the wind-down she had rolled out on Instagram the previous week.

She had been debating whether it was time to retire for years, frustrated by injuries and, more lately, tormented by the realization that her family of three only had so much time together. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, made obscene remarks about Wie West in 2021, which startled her into a new sense of purpose.

But there came a point, she said, when she realized the game’s toll was ultimately too high, when she feared her body would be so damaged that she wouldn’t be able to play a round for fun with her kid. Since then, her clubs have been almost exclusively in her bag.

“It’s hard,” she admitted, “to know when the right time is to walk away.”

That is undoubtedly due in part to the fact that, for an athlete in any discipline, walking away from the competition means the statistics are complete and, with few exceptions, the résumé is frozen. Wie West’s retirement, transition, or whatever you want to call it, sparked the usual argument about whether she was a wasted or overhyped talent.

Of course, she hears it. She understands it as well.

“People love to chirp and have their own feelings and whatnot, and they have every right to do so: they’ve invested in my career,” she explained. “I know I haven’t won as many awards as I, quote-unquote, should have.”

At the same time, she appears to question how fair it is. She graduated from Stanford and won the US Open, and she believes that those two accomplishments are what she wanted to do all along.

And yet she can still imagine how her career might have turned out differently if she had held onto a share of the lead at the 2005 Open at Cherry Hills if her quest for a spot in the Masters that year had been successful, if she had made the cut at her first PGA Tour event instead of missing it by a stroke.

She enters this week’s 156-woman Open with cautious expectations against a strong field.

Minjee Lee, the defending champion, has won two majors since 2021 and is not ranked in the top five in the world. And then there’s Rose Zhang, the 20-year-old Stanford student who won her first professional tournament last month. Wie West’s group features three-time major winner In Gee Chun and Annika Sorenstam, who has 10 major titles in her career and gained a special exemption into this week’s play.

This spring, Michelle Wie West was thinking about how she needed to build up her stamina for the rigors of a major, how she wanted to improve her iron and wedge play before returning to one of golf’s grandest stages, especially because it will be held on one of the sport’s most adored courses this year.

“I just have to believe in myself and get to the point where I’m confident that I can execute the shots and make the putts,” she explained. “And I’m hoping it all happens quickly.”

She intends to stay involved with the sport — she just hosted the L.P.G.A. event that Zhang won — but she insists she doesn’t worry much about how she changed opinions of the game that she says still enchants her.

Even today, she added, she will play with her husband and be convinced that, like every other golfer who has won, lost, or never competed in a major, she has solved the sport’s puzzles.

“You get that one feeling that feels really good, and you think to yourself, ‘I think I’ve figured out the game.'” “I figured it out!” she exclaimed. “I still catch myself saying that almost every time I play, so I know there’s a desire to improve.”

After all of this time, it will eventually occur away from the spotlight.

About the author

Amelia Jhon

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Discover more from DailyTrends

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading