Michelle Wie West didn’t think she wanted to come back to golf.
Chronic wrist injuries and pregnancy had all but solidified the golfer’s decision to step away from the sport. With other opportunities on the horizon and motherhood approaching, she told the New York Times she felt it was a natural pivot point.
But then Wie West learned she was going to be having a daughter and her feelings shifted.
In February, a month before her official return, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, appeared on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, where he discussed being paired with Wie West at a 2014 pro-am charity golf fundraiser. He said that the “gorgeous” Wie West’s putting stance was attracting photographers, who, he said, “were trying to take pictures of her panties.”
A day later, after properly channeling her “disgust and outrage” Wie West took to social media in response.
pic.twitter.com/sSbeNFY6c0— Michelle Wie (@MichelleWieWest) February 20, 2021
“What this person should have remembered from that day was the fact that I shot 64 and beat every male golfer in the field leading our team to victory,” Wie West wrote. “I shudder thinking that he was smiling to my face and complimenting me on my game while objectifying me and referencing my ‘panties’ behind my back all day.”
“My putting stance six years ago was designed to improve my putting stats,” Wie added, noting that she won the US Open that year. “NOT as an invitation to look up my skirt!”
According to Wie’s discussion with the New York Times, Giuliani’s comments furthered Wie West’s reasons for a comeback, as she realized that her return to competition would give her an opportunity to address inequities and ignorance.
Back from retirement and with a mission on her mind, Wie West is set to tee off in the U.S. Women’s Open at 4:40 p.m. ET for the first time since 2018.