Pebble Beach, Calif. – This wasn’t Valhalla in 2000, when Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus played in the first two rounds of the PGA Championship. This tournament was Jack’s last PGA, and for Tiger it was the proverbial torch relay of three consecutive major wins.
It happened by chance that the mentor and mentee passed each other, one of them had finished talking to the media and the other was about to start.
But there was a touch of nostalgia when Michelle Wie West and Rose Chan stopped to hug and chat briefly at the U.S. Women’s Open on Tuesday.
If anyone knows what Rose Chan looks like, it’s Michelle Wee West. But even Zhang doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a Wee West.
Wie’s hype in the early-to-mid-2000s can’t be appreciated until you’ve been there. She now gleefully points out: I can’t imagine TikTok coming out the week of the Sony Open. “
She is still endlessly involved in everything from playing against men, to relationships with her parents, to changes in her swing, to mishaps on the course and… major injuries… numerous injuries from not living up to great expectations. endured surveillance.
Wee West finished her career with five LPGA wins and one major title, the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.
The term “done” is not entirely accurate. At least until she finishes her USWO this week at Pebble Beach.
This is it. The 33-year-old says it’s the end. “The club is going to be in the darkest corner of the garage,” she said.
She had her eye on the event for some time. Pine Needles, the venue of last year’s championship, would have been a great place to hang out due to its proximity to Pinehurst, where she won her only major win.
But the Pebble Beach Open is the ultimate. And for Wee West, this will be her ultimate event.
She said she wants to play more, especially since her 3-year-old daughter McKenna is taking an interest in the game.
“I really wanted to play longer. “In an ideal world, I wish I was still on tour and playing.
“Unfortunately I had to make a difficult decision with my body. It’s hard. Being a mother here is hard. You have to make a lot of sacrifices. I had to make tough decisions, and I had to make personal decisions as well.”
Some, perhaps many, will see Wee West’s career as a disappointment and accept nothing less than a redefinition of the game.
But she changed the girls’ game. She increased that her exposure. This was more than anyone with five times the title could ever do. And the LPGA could now really tap into some of that transcendence.
“I think it needs more attention. Even if it was a major tournament, sometimes I didn’t even know it was a major, but when male players are playing in any major tournament or high-class competition, it’s just saturation,” she said. Told.
U.S. Women’s Open full-field tee times
Weeks like this help, as does the potential of a player like Chan. Wee West will also help. She said she wanted to stay connected to her game, as she is already a tournament organizer, and said she wanted to “continue to empower women both in and out of sport and do everything in my power to close the pay gap.” rice field.
When asked to describe her achievements in words, Wee West responded:
“Bold. I’ve made many bold choices in my career and I’m proud of it. I’m proud to say that sometimes I’m not afraid and just do what feels right.” she said.
“I hope I can inspire many other girls to make bold and fearless decisions and choices in their careers.”
With a few rounds left in her career, she hopes to have four left. after that? I don’t understand her very well. She’s been pointing to this week for so long that she’s here and doesn’t know what to target going forward.
The life she knew is not the life she knows now.
“When you’re a professional athlete, your highs are very high and your lows are very low. I didn’t feel anything,” she said.
“It’s weird. It’s strange how mundane every day is. I go out and eat three meals a day, take care of my daughter, and watch Netflix at night. But every day is fine.”
“But I have a Pebble,” she said.
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