Michael Wye West continues to inspire on and off the golf course LPGA

„And she eagled the second hole a couple of times during tournaments, and there were players who couldn’t get to that second hole. It was a long golf course. So it wasn’t a choice kind of thing. She’s likable. She’s funny and everybody likes to be around her. She’s a great magnet. The personality was there, and I think that’s what drew the public to her.

Meg Mallon, a two-time US Women’s Open champion, remembers the interest Wee West instilled in women’s golf and the LPGA Tour during her early years as a member of the organization. When he first arrived on the golf scene, the young phenom was often compared to Tiger Woods, a huge compliment, but a challenging analogy that came with expectations to live up to, and Mallon sympathized with that.

„As far as being called the next Tiger, that’s a very difficult thing for anyone to do when they’re 14 years old,” Mallon said. „That expectation level goes up for everyone, so whatever you do is never good enough.

„No, maybe she didn’t have the life she envisioned, but she didn’t envision all those injuries and had to fight through a lot. That being said, she did well despite the injuries and brought a lot to the tour in terms of outside interest. People who didn’t watch the game saw the game because of her. We should all be grateful.”

Despite not having the 50-plus wins and 10 major titles everyone seemingly scripted for his career, Wyatt still had plenty of success at the height of his playing days. She won five times on the LPGA Tour, including the 2014 US Women’s Open at Pinehurst, and recorded 44 additional top-10 finishes during her career. Her final in that Women’s Open will forever be iconic, with players like 2022 Portland Classic winner Andrea Lee a huge source of inspiration for the next generation of Asian-Americans aspiring to play professional golf.

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