One of the faithful products of this new era of Asian women golfers is 18 year old Michelle Wie. Known for her towering height of 6'1" and her entrance on the PGA Tour, the youngest of only four women to ever do so, she breaks all boundaries, especially for Asian American women.
At the age of ten, she became the youngest player ever to qualify for the Women's US Amateur Public Links Championship. At 11, she won two of the oldest and most prestigious women's amateur tournaments in her home state of Hawaii. That year Wie also became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship and advanced into match play at the Women's U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. At 14 she set the record for being the youngest female or male to ever win a USGA adult amateur event. At 15, she turned professional and since then has set numerous other records. In 2006, Time Magazine named her one of 100 people who shape our world.
Due to her decision to decline entry in the LPGA Tour qualifying school when she turned 18 and her focus mainly on PGA events in which she has been sponsored to participate in, she has generated a lot of controversy and criticism around her name. Other professional golfers and critics have made harsh blows about her "inapprorpiate apparel," fabricated injuries, and questionable withdrawals from tournaments. In general, her unconventional methods have made many hold her to a different standard than most. Nevertheless, she is still one of the most well-known female golfers and will continue to be for many years to come.
My Role Models Growing Up
Dorothy Delasin Lisa Yamane Mika Takayama
Dorothy Delasin is a 4 time LPGA winner, and Lisa and Mika are both successful and decorated former players for UC Berkeley. They were all Junior members at my golf club so I often watched them practiced and heard many tales of their success when I was young from my dad and my coach. As I first starting taking lessons, my coach could not stop reminding my dad that "when Keiko becomes really good at golf, she can get a free ride to a great college, and get her own parking spot at school like Lisa."