SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — During her time as a teenage phenom and for many years after, Michelle Wie West was one of the biggest names in golf.
Now her career is one tournament away from being over.
The 32-year-old Wie West shot 5-over 147 through two rounds in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, leaving her outside the cut line with the afternoon wave still on the course. She plans to play one more tournament before calling it quits for good — next year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach.
“I’m probably going to let the clubs collect some dust on them for a little bit now,” Wie West said. “But I’m excited. There’s a lot of projects that I’m working on that I haven’t had time to do before, so I’m just going to dive into those.”
She wouldn’t elaborate on what those projects are.
“The U.S. Open was always going to be the last tournament I played,” said Wie West, who won the 2014 championship a few miles down the road at Pinehurst No. 2. “The Public Links was the first tournament I played on the mainland, and the U.S. Open was definitely going to be my last. I love the USGA family. Just seeing everyone, I grew up with these people. It’s just so amazing to be here, and I’m excited for Pebble Beach next year.”
Wie West is married to Golden State Warriors director of basketball operations Jonnie West, and the couple’s daughter turns 2 this month. She hasn’t been playing regularly on the LPGA Tour but is still exempt into the U.S. Women’s Open.
She got teary-eyed as she walked up to 18th green to a chorus of cheers.
She said her day got off to a good start when she guessed the Wordle word of the day on her second attempt. It pretty much went downhill from there after what she called “some stupid bogeys.”
“I thought it was undefeatable after (Wordle), and then it was a gradual decline after that,” she said. “It was an amazing week. It’s definitely a bittersweet week. I wish I would have ended on making the cut and all of that. Obviously, no matter what, missing the cut (stinks).”
The U.S. Women’s Open is one of five LPGA Tour victories for Wie West, who once dreamed of competing against men and nearly made the cut in the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in 2004. She has career earnings of more than $6.8 million.
“There were times where I was very intense in my career on the golf course, but I soon learned that it’s a game still,” she said. “Even though it’s your job, the golf is still a game. It’s a great game, and it’s a long time to be out there if you’re not having fun. So I decided I was going to have fun on the golf course, and I definitely had fun today.”