It’s been about a year since Michelle Wie West last competed on the LPGA Tour, missing the cut at the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. At the time, she was walking away to heal a chronic wrist problem, but along the way she became pregnant with her first child and is now expecting with husband Jonnie West.
She’s due in the summer, which would normally be in the prime portion of the LPGA schedule. With the exception of the ANA Inspiration in April, the other four majors were scheduled for the summer months.
Then came the pandemic, throwing the entire world into disarray and forcing the LPGA and the golf world to reimagine the 2020 schedule. Now, the LPGA is set to resume in July, while the USGA has moved the US Women’s Open from June to December to off a year-end bang for the sport.
All of a sudden, Wie West, the 2014 US Women’s Open champion, could well have her return event at Champions Golf Club in Houston.
“Logistically, it opened my eyes and I was like, ‘Whoa, like maybe it could happen,'” said Wie West to ESPN. “I’m not making a decision right now, but my ears definitely perked up when I heard that the US Open is going to be in December. Suddenly, it’s something that seriously needs to be discussed.”
The time away from competitive golf has given her time to heal her wrist and also regain some of the joy of playing golf from going out with her husband to the course and taking the edge off the game.
Wie West announced her pregnancy in January, and some thought that might signal her transition from player into retirement. She had signed on with CBS Sports to do golf commentary for digital platforms, including at the Masters, originally set for April. It was clear she could be testing the waters to see if it was the right move when she moves on from competitive golf. However, when Wie West learned she was having a girl, she realized she wants to continue her golf career.
“Before I was even pregnant, I thought my career would come to an end when I had kids, and I was fine with that,” Wie West said. “Then I found out I was having a girl, and my perspective changed. … Now, I definitely want to play for her. I want to create a future for her while she sees me being a strong woman and an athlete and being someone that is pursuing her dreams.”