At the US Women’s Open, Michelle V West thinks of “Amazing Journey”

Michelle V West, one of the most famous golfers in 10 years, had breakfast at the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in North Carolina on Tuesday morning at the US Open.

“Someone came to me,” said V West, 32, “who told me they called me by my first name.”

He rolled his eyes gently and nodded, “So I felt very young. I am at this stage in my life. “

Last week, V West announced it was leaving competitive golf after this week’s championship. He has no plans to play another LPGA tournament in 2022. The only other event she expects to participate in is the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, he used the word “pension” only once and admitted he could change his mind. But for Wie West, who has been fighting for major championships since her 16th birthday, she has won five LPGA events, including the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, collected tweets and prize money in the tens of millions of dollars, and especially played against eight times. . In the men’s PGA Tour, there was a finale in his voice.

“This is what I’ve been thinking about for a while,” V West said. “It was an amazing journey and I’m very excited about what will happen next.”

However, the future could wait at least another 10 minutes as Vest tried to sum up his career, living in the obsessively dazzling light of international stars due to his premature acquaintance with elite golf. His career was also significantly hampered by wrist injuries, which meant he temporarily or did not play for a long stretch at all. In June 2020, along with her husband Johnny West, she became a parent for the first time with the birth of the couple’s daughter Makena.

“First of all, I want to say that I do not regret my career,” he said. “There is always a desire to do more. But no one will ever be 100 percent satisfied.

“I’m really had a career up and down, but I’m very proud of the stamina I’ve shown,” he said. “I’m very proud to have achieved the two biggest dreams I have ever had – one to graduate from Stanford and the other to win the US Open.”

V West smiled, laughed, and was calm. Among all the very public moments of his public career, it seemed simple, and he was happy to be back on course to achieve his signature.

“I’m really giving myself some grace and I’m enjoying this past week,” he said.

For V West, whose presence, versatility and great drives have compared him to Tiger Woods, his influence on women’s golf has remained unspoken. She has never addressed this topic directly and does not acknowledge her own significant impact on the popularity of the sport, but when asked what has changed in the women’s game over the last 20 years, Wie West was animated.

“Oh, I mean, a lot has changed,” he replied. “Thank you so much to the USGA for really buying women’s sports and the LPGA for just growing and pushing the boundaries.

“When the doors close for us, we just keep going and I’m proud of all the tours and the USGA that they are really buying and setting the level right,” he said.

In January, the United States Golf Association nearly doubled the prize money for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship to $ 10 million, with this year’s championship winner earning $ 1.8 million, making it the richest single payout in women’s golf.

A year ago, only three women on the LPGA tour made more than $ 1.8 million. While the US Open Men’s prize pool is $ 12.5 million, USGA CEO Mike Van plans to increase the women’s bag to $ 12 million in a few years.

The golf industry sponsorship deals that have been awarded to the best male golfers continue to overshadow most of the awards given to women.

But on this front, V West, who joined the LPGA board of directors last year and continues to work in that position, had advice from personal experience from golfers who became his replacements.

“As women athletes, we are often told, ‘Oh, your sponsorship is only worth that much; “You just have to ask for so much,” V West said. “We are thinking like that and I would encourage young athletes to come and say, ‘No, I know my dignity.’ I know what I deserve. ” And ask for more. ”

Asked if he did what he did – successfully – he replied: “Yes, of course.”

Wie West is also an investor in the company, LA Golf, which it says has promised to launch new initiatives for women golfers, hoping to financially change the sponsorship landscape.

In the short term, Wie West still has a tournament this week for which, given its other priorities, it did not prepare as it did 10 or 20 years ago.

“I definitely did not have the training schedule that I normally do before the US Open,” he said with a smile. “This week, I’m just swimming in all this. I’re just seeing all the fans, I’m seeing all the players, walking. It ‘s pretty cool.”

The event’s past championships help Wie West enjoy the experience, perhaps more than anyone would have expected. Surprisingly, she said that eight years ago, without the US Women’s Open Cup, now her competitive career would not have come to an end.

“This is one tournament I have wanted to win since I started playing golf,” said V West. He then insisted: “If I had not won the 2014 US Open, I still would not have retired. And I would still be here, I would play and I would go for this victory. “This victory means everything to me.”

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