Michelle Wie West hasn’t competed in an LPGA Tour event in nearly two years, but the woman who literally grew up before our eyes still commands our fascination. In August 2019, she married Jonnie West, the son of L.A. Lakers legend Jerry West, in a lavish Beverly Hills ceremony. In June 2020, the couple welcomed their first child. In November, she worked the Masters for CBS. Last month, Wie West publicly fired back at Rudy Giuliani after he made objectifying remarks about her.
It’s all compelling stuff, but it’s not picking up a club and striking a ball in the heat of competition.
On Monday, Kia Classic tournament director Lindsay Allen confirmed that Wie West is on the entry list for the event, which is scheduled for March 25-28 at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, Calif. It appears the Kia might serve as a tune-up for Wie West to play in the first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Calif., which is scheduled for the week after the Kia.
The ANA field officially closes on Wednesday. The Kia field closed on Friday.
“We’re excited Michelle is currently in the field for the 2021 Kia Classic. We’re looking forward to welcoming her back next week to the LPGA Tour,” Allen said via email.
The former U.S. Women’s Open champion, however, has yet to announce whether she’s playing in either event.
Wie West, 31, last played on the LPGA in June 2019 at the KMPG Women’s PGA Championship and currently ranks 534th in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Struggling with a painful wrist injury, she shot 84-82 at Hazeltine National in the Women’s PGA. Due to injuries, Wie West played in only five events in 2019, making the cut just once. She played a full schedule in 2018, and that March notched the latest of her five career victories at the HSBC Women’s World Championship. That win ended a nearly four-year victory drought following her greatest triumph in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst, after which she reached a career best at World No. 6.
Wie West has never ruled out competing again, saying that she would like her daughter, Makenna, to one day see her play on the LPGA. She has played the Kia Classic nine times, with a best finish of T-6 when it was played at La Costa in 2010. In six appearances at Aviara from 2013-18, her best finish is T-16 in 2014. She tied for 22nd in 2018.