Michelle Wie

Height / weight 1.83 m /
Born Oct 11, 1989
Nationality United States United States
Nickname Big Weisy

Michelle Wei is an American professional golfer. She plays on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour. When she was 10 years old, she became qualified to take part in the United States Golf Association (USGA) amateur championship. She is the youngest player in USGA history to have done so. She is also the youngest player to qualify for an LPGA Tour event.

Wei turned pro just before her 16th birthday in 2005. Her first and only major event win was at the 2014 US Women’s Open.

Personal Life and Player Bio

Michelle was born Michelle Sung Wei in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 11, 1989. She is the only child of her parents and her father was a former professor at the University of Hawaii. Her mother was a former golf champion who played in South Korea. At the time of her birth, Wei had dual citizenship. She has since renounced her South Korean Citizenship.

She turned pro before she was 16 years old. When she attended Stanford University, she became ineligible to play for the school under the NCAA rules. She took leaves of absence during the years she attended Stanford in order to play professional Golf.

Michelle stands 6 feet or 1.83 meters tall. She is married to Jonnie West and the two have one child. Wei currently resides with her family in San Francisco, California.

Amateur Career and Setting Records

Wei began playing golf at age 4. When she was 10, she was the youngest player at the time to qualify to play at the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. When she was eleven years old, she triumphed at the Hawaii State Women’s Stroke Play Championship.

In 2002, Wei won the Hawaii State Open Women’s Division. She also qualified for an LPGA Event, the Takefuji Classic. At the time, she was the youngest player to qualify for an LPGA event. It was held in Hawaii.

In 2003, she set another record by becoming the youngest player at the time to ever make an LPGA cut. This was at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. In the same year, she won the Women’s Amateur Public Links Tournament. She became the youngest golfer to have ever won a USGA adult event.

At 13 years old, she made the cut to play at the US Women’s Open. She was the youngest player to do so. She also got to play at a PGA event, the Sony Open in Hawaii. She was also the youngest woman to have played in the Curtis Cup tournament. She also became the first female player to qualify for a USGA national men’s tournament.

Turning Pro

Wei announced on October 5, 2005, that she was turning professional.

This was a week before her 16th birthday. She signed sponsorships with Sony and Nike. They were reportedly worth more than $10 million per year.

Pre-LPGA Membership

The LPGA requires that its members are 18 and above. At just 16, Wei was not eligible for membership. She also chose not to make a petition to be exempted from the rule. She was allowed to play in limited LPGA Tour events. Usually with the help of a Sponsor’s Exemption.

She debuted as a professional golfer in an LPGA event in 2005. This was the LPGA Samsung World Championship. She also played at the LPGA Championship. In the 2006 initial Rolex World Golf Ranking, Wei was ranked 3rd in February. She would drop to 7, mostly due to a limited play schedule.

In 2006, she played at the PGA Tour Sony Open and the PGA John Deere Classic. She also took time to play at Asian and European Tours including the SK Telecom Open. She took a hiatus in 2007 to recover from wrist injuries. After returning to the game, she would play in several more tours but ended the year with no victories. Despite this, she was ranked No.4 in Forbes’ Top 20 Earners under 25.

LPGA Membership

Wei passed the LPGA Qualifying School in December 2008. Her first tournament with the LPGA was the SBS Open which was held at Turtle Bay. In 2009, she switched agencies and signed with IMG.

She won her first professional individual tournament in November 2009. This was at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational which was held in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2010, she won at the CN Canadian Women’s Open held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This was her second professional career victory.

Her first LPGA Tour event win was in 2014 at the LPGA Lotte Championship. She won by two strokes against Angela Stanford. In the same year, she won her fourth LPGA Tour event and her first major Championship – the USA Women’s Open.

During this year, she was given the Rolex Annika Major Award and she was named as one of ESPNW’s Impact 25.

Career Highlights and Awards

LPGA Tour Wins: 5
ANA Inspiration: 2nd 2014
Women’s PGA Championship: 2nd 2005
U.S. Women’s Open: Won 2014
Women’s British Open: T3 2005, 2017
Evian Championship: T16 2015
2004 - Laureus World Newcomer of the Year
2004 - Rolex Annika Major Award

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