Michelle Wie West is ready for her curtain call.

The 33-year-old golfer is playing the final tournament of her professional career this week at the U.S. Women’s Open. And while the five-time winner on the LPGA Tour does have her share of “what-ifs,” she is looking beyond them to her future outside the game.

“I feel very — confident that I had the career that I wanted to,” she told the New York Times. “Obviously, I wish I could have done more as well. I think anyone and everyone thinks that.”

But “the what-ifs and the regrets and the ‘I wish I could have done this better’ can drive you truly insane,” she said. And at the end of the day she’s done what she set out to do: earn a degree from Stanford and win a U.S. Open — the 2014 tournament at Pinehurst.

Still, she admitted that it is “hard to know” the right time to walk away. While she always planned to retire after having children, giving birth to her daughter Makenna in 2020 spurred a desire to continue playing. She has done so, playing a few tournaments over the last few years, though she has not played a full LPGA Tour schedule since 2018.

Ultimately, her body has told her that now is the time to step away.

“I really, really wanted to play longer. I really wanted to — especially after having Makenna and her being a girl, I really wanted to play longer,” Wie West told ESPN. “In an ideal world I wish I was still out on tour and playing. Unfortunately it’s just I had to make a hard decision with my body. It is hard. It is hard to be a mom out here. You have to make a lot of sacrifices. I just had to make a hard medical decision and also a personal decision.”

She played a practice round Tuesday with Rose Zhang, a fellow Stanford alum who is just at the start of her career, and Wie West admits that it already has been “an emotional week.”

“I just realized everything I’m doing, I’m doing for the last time,” she said. “The putting drills that I’m doing, you’d best believe I’m not going to do another putting drill for the rest of my life if I don’t need to. So all that stuff I’m doing for the last time, the last practice rounds, getting the line, writing in my yardage book.

“I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, and incredibly blessed for the journey that I have and the family that I’ve built. It’s just a really cool week to be here.”

As for what’s next, Wie West hopes to remain close to the sport.

“I continue to want to help the tour grow, female sports in general, and do everything in my power to keep empowering the women, closing the pay gap, whether it’s in sports and out of sports,” she said. “I think we have to lead by example, and I hope I can be a part of that.”

The U.S. Open tees off Thursday at Pebble Beach. The tournament will run through Sunday. The broadcast schedule is below, and the full tournament will be available to stream on Peacock.

  • Thursday, July 6: 6-11 p.m. ET — USA Network
  • Friday, July 7: 6-11 p.m. ET — USA Network
  • Saturday, July 8: 3-9 p.m. ET — NBC
  • Sunday, July 9: 3-9 p.m. ET — NBC

A month ago, amateur golfer Megha Ganne found herself in a 3-for-1 playoff to qualify for her second career U.S. Open.

Now, she holds a share of the lead with Mel Reid after the first round Thursday.

The 17-year-old recorded six birdies and led outright until a dropped shot on 18. She became the sixth amateur in U.S. Open history to shoot 67 or lower.

Ganne is also the first amateur to lead after a round at the U.S. Women’s Open since 2006, when Jane Park did it after Round 1 at the Newport Country Club.

The high school junior qualified for the U.S. Open two years ago at just 15 years old and missed the cut. This time around, things are different.

“I think the first time is nerve-racking for anybody and meeting your idols and being on the stage for the first time,” she said. “But the second time around, even the practice rounds, I wasn’t as nervous. I felt like I could come here and just play my game instead of soaking that all in.”

Ganne intends to play golf at Stanford after graduating high school next year. She might have the opportunity to play alongside current freshman Rachel Heck, who became the school’s first individual national champion a few weeks ago.

First, Ganne will try to become just the second amateur to win the U.S. Women’s Open after Catherine Lacoste made history in 1967. Ganne is playing in the second group out on Friday.

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.

“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.