Former U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie West to step away from LPGA Tour at 32

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Michelle Wie West, the teenage prodigy who went on to win the U.S. Women's Open, has announced she intends to step away from the LPGA Tour.

The Hawaii-born player, who burst onto the scene as a 10-year-old when she qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, will play just two more competitive events.

Wie West, who gave birth to her first child in 2020, is now 32 and has only played once on the LPGA Tour this year, at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in January.

She will play the U.S. Women's Open next week and also next year, but that may be it for her as a professional golfer.

"Excited to announce the next phase of my career as I'll be stepping back from playing on the @lpga_tour full time," Wie said on Instagram on Thursday. "I'm so grateful for the past 14 years I spent on tour, travelling the world and competing against the best in the game.

"Excited to spend more time now on projects that I always wanted to do but never had time for and to continually work to help golf become a more diverse and inclusive space."

She will work with Nike on golf projects and could yet one day make a playing return, but for now Wie West is done with the grind of the tour.

"I don't have any regrets because I feel like I've always learned from every mistake that I've made," Wie West told Golfweek.

"I feel like even if it was a huge major fail, at least it makes for a good story now. 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."

She said she felt "very happy in my decision".

Tipped to be the Tiger Woods of the LPGA Tour as a teenager, Wie West was a record breaker during school, setting a series of impressive benchmarks and raising the profile of the women's game.

At 14, she carded the lowest score ever by a woman competing on the PGA Tour with a 68 at the Sony Open, and turned professional just before her 16th birthday.

Injuries hampered her progress despite a slew of major sponsorships, but she fought back in 2014 to claim her only major, in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst.

Wie West won four other LPGA events during her career, most recently the HSBC Women's World Championship in 2018.

Despite stepping away from the tour, she has refused to call it a retirement, adding: "I'm definitely not ruling anything out."

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