Michelle Wie is making the headlines for all of the right reasons as she claimed her first LPGA Tour title since 2010 in the Lotte Championship.
Wie, who had not won on the LPGA Tour since taking the CN Canadian Women’s Open, picked the perfect place to end her drought, too, as she did it in her home state of Hawaii.
The 24-year-old shot a five-under-par 67 in the final round at Ko Olina Golf Club to help her finish two shots ahead of fellow American Angela Stanford, and three clear of world No.1 Inbee Park, and Wie said she could not have dreamed up a better ending to the tournament.
“I didn’t try to force anything. I just tried to make some birdies. I had a number in my head that I thought I needed to shoot, and fortunately I shot it." - Michelle Wie
“I think the highlight really was just to come back home and – there really wasn’t just one moment,” said Wie. “From the first tee shot that I hit until the last putt that I made, the support I felt from everyone was unbelievable. I really think a lot of times they willed the ball in. I give a lot of credit to them.”
Hawaii native Wie said a pre-round pep talk with former LPGA players Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel at the Kraft Nabisco Championship helped put her nervous energy in perspective at the Lotte Championship.
“My caddie isn’t one for pep talks, but he gave me a good one on the green today. He was like just play your game. It’s windy out there, just go out and play your game.
“I’m just having fun out there. I was out there, I was nervous, but I had a really good talk with Meg and Beth at Kraft. I told them, ‘I’m so nervous’, and they were like, ‘That’s awesome.’ Every time you feel nervous, just enjoy it. I think I really felt that. Every time I felt nervous out there, I was looking around and I was like there was really no other place I would rather be. So I just had a blast out there.
“I didn’t try to force anything. I just tried to make some birdies. I had a number in my head that I thought I needed to shoot, and fortunately I shot it."
Wie edges out Stanford
Runner-up Angela Stanford had held the lead heading into the final day, but struggled to find form on the greens at pivotal points.
“I played really well. I just didn’t make the putts I’ve been making,” said Stanford. “She’s been playing great. She’s having a great year, so it was bound to happen. I just happened to be the one that caught the buzzsaw.”