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Sydnee Michaels returns as a mom, a pageant queen

Sydnee Michaels returns as a mom, a pageant queen

Sydnee Michaels’ 6-year-old daughter Isla had her bags packed for the U.S. Women’s Open long before it was time to head to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

“Mommy, I want you to win every tournament,” Isla said.

Isla’s end-of-year-party for kindergarten fell on the Friday before championship week at Lancaster Country Club, perfect timing for the big trip.

Michaels, 35, is a part-time player on the LPGA these days, and the U.S. Women’s Open qualifier is the only event she’s played in so far in 2024. The former UCLA player shot 69-71 to medal at the The Club at Admiral’s Cove in Jupiter, Florida, earlier this month to qualify for her seventh U.S. Women’s Open and the first in eight years.

Sydnee Michaels poses with daughter Isla. (courtesy photo)

“It meant a lot to me, actually,” said Michaels of qualifying for her favorite event again, not long after the death of her father, Alex.

He was on the bag when Michaels qualified for her first U.S. Women’s Open at age 17. She’ll carry a photo in her yardage book this week of them together at the Murrieta Valley Golf Range, where she grew up playing in Southern California.

Michaels, the youngest of eight children, was a champion tap dancer and competitive figure skater before her father sat her down in his office at age 7 and explained that she was going to be too tall to be an Olympic figure skater.

Although no one in the family played golf, Alex thought the ancient game sounded like a good choice.

“He basically was like, ‘I think women’s golf is going to be as popular as women’s tennis by the time you’re an adult, and I think that could be a good career for you,’ ” said Michaels. “He and my mom just literally signed me up for golf lessons at my local driving range. Here I am – 28 years later.”

Michaels has since moved across the country to south Florida and now works as a teaching instructor at High Ridge Country Club in Boynton Beach. A two-time winner on the Epson Tour, Michaels first earned full LPGA status for the 2012 season. Five years later, she was dealing with a bad back at the same time she was pregnant with Isla. With her maternity leave cut short, she went back on tour in 2018, four months after giving birth.

Michaels called that season one of the hardest years of her life, missing cuts by the slimmest of margins as she routinely got up in the middle of the night to care for Isla.

Michaels, who takes responsibility for what happened, said there was some…


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