Golf-Wie West stepping back from full-time competition

FILE PHOTO: Jun 24, 2021; John's Creek, Georgia, USA; Michelle Wie West plays her shot from the 18th tee during the first round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - American Michelle Wie West is "stepping back" from professional competition, the 2014 U.S. Women's Open winner said on social media on Thursday, after a 14-year career.

The five-times LPGA tour winner said she was partnering with Nike to work as an athlete collaborator and would no longer participate on the tour full-time.

"Excited to spend more time now on projects that I always wanted to do but never had time for and to continually work to help golf become a more diverse and inclusive space," she wrote.

In 2003 at the age of 13, Wie West became the youngest competitor to make the cut in an LPGA event and a year later rocketed to fame after nearly making the cut against men in a PGA Tour event.

She recorded five top-three finishes in major competition but struggled with wrist injuries throughout her career and was limited in competition in recent years.

She finished tied for 28th in her sole appearance on the tour this year in January.

"I’m so grateful for the past 14 years I spent on tour, traveling the world and competing against the best in the game," she said.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Toby Davis)

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