Michelle Wie is to take an indefinite leave from professional golf after competing in this week’s US Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in North Carolina.

The 32-year-old American, who won the US Women’s Open at Pinehurst in 2014, and four other LPGA Tour titles, has struggled with injury in recent years, and says she is no longer able to train enough physically to take part in regular LPGA Tour events.

Currently ranked 501st in the world, Wie has only played in one tournament so far in 2022, finishing tied 28th at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Florida in January. She played six events in 2021 and missed the cut in four of them, and didn’t play at all in 2020 after having a daughter that summer.

Wie said: “Sometimes when I play a lot of golf I only have the strength left to go to bed. I can’t carry my daughter and that worries me. I think if I hadn’t won the US Open, I would still be on the circuit week after week fighting for that  victory. I have no regrets because I feel like I always learned from every mistake I made.”

Michelle Wie won the US Women’s Open in 2014 and four other LPGA Tour titles during her 16-year professional career

Hawaiian-born Wie first made global headlines when she became the youngest player to ever qualify for a USGA amateur championship aged just 10. She went on to become the youngest player to ever qualify for an LPGA Tour event at age 12, the youngest to win an adult USGA championship at age 13 and the youngest to make the cut at a women’s major when played her way into the last group of the 2003 Kraft Nabisco – now the Chevron Championship – thanks to a third-round 66.

It was her adventures against the men, however, that Wie became a household name. In 2004, she shot 68 at the Sony Open, the lowest round ever recorded by a woman at a PGA Tour event, but missed the cut by a single stroke.

A long-time Nike ambassador, Wie has recently signed a five-year extension to represent the brand despite her recent decision to step away from professional golf.

Wie has joined Nike’s Athlete Think Tank, a group of female athletes that includes Serena Williams, Sabrina Ionescu, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Simone Manuel, who have come together to help the brand break down barriers in women’s sport.

“I was definitely waiting for the heartbreaking call that Nike wouldn’t want to work with me,” she said, “but it was the complete opposite. It seems like it’s been a couple years coming where I’ve been slowly doing things that I’ve always wanted to do, but never had time to do It’s been a lot of fun to learn and grow into areas that I always wanted to grow into.”

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