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It feels like a lifetime ago now, but not too long ago, Michelle Wie West was accomplishing unprecedented feats in the world of golf.
In 2003, at the age of 13, Wie West became the youngest winner of an adult USGA-sanctioned tournament when she took the title at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. That same year, she became the youngest player to make the cut in an LPGA tournament and major, surviving the cut line in Palm Springs.
Her notoriety only grew from there, and soon she began setting her sights higher. Specifically, competing amongst the men on the PGA Tour. In 2004, she got that chance at the Sony Open.
Wie West received a sponsor exemption to play in the early season event in Hawaii. And although she was confident in her abilities, the nerves set in when she arrived early in the week.
“I was so nervous on the range,” Wie West said on this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar.
Wie West remembers there being plenty of naysayers in her pursuit. But she kept a positive outlook despite it.
“I was like, ‘Wait, you can’t tell me I can’t do this just because I’m a girl,’” Wie West said. “I remember getting to the range and Ernie Els is hitting, and Vijay Singh is there. And I’m just like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I was super cocky back in the day, but then I’m watching these guys hit the ball and I’m like, Wow!”
Despite the star-struck beginning to the week, Wie West made a little more history in her first start alongside the men. Her second-round 68 remains the lowest round by a woman in a PGA Tour event.
Check out the entire episode of Subpar below.
Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.
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