Steinhauer, 46, wondered whether her LPGA career might be over after undergoing a pair of surgeries last winter and spring to repair bone spurs, labral and tendon tears and chronic pain in both hips. She’s preparing to find out just how much game she’s got left. She played in an LPGA corporate outing near her Palm Springs, Calif., home on Wednesday, her first pro-am for the tour since her surgeries. She only began playing full rounds two weeks ago.
“I felt great,” said Steinhauer, an eight-time LPGA winner with two major championships on her resume. “It seems like a miracle, but the true test is ahead, when I have to play week in and week out.”
Steinhauer had plenty of game when the hip pain became too much to handle. She won as recently as 2007 at the State Farm Classic and won the Women’s British Open in ’06. She hasn't played an LPGA event since the Canadian Women's Open almost 15 months ago.
The timing of the surgeries, Steinhauer said, was oddly a blessing. Her mother, Nancie, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the start of July. Steinhauer returned to Madison, Wis., where she grew up, to help her mother, who suffered through some difficult complications.
“I got to spend most of the summer with her,” Steinhauer.
Steinhauer reports her mother is doing “wonderfully.” Though Steinhauer isn’t sure when she’ll make her LPGA tour return next year, she will make her return to competition in two weeks at the LPGA Legends Tour Open at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club outside Tampa.
'It will give me a good indication where I'm at competitively,' she said.