Wie claims her first Major title
Former teenage prodigy finally wins a Major title to fulfil her potential
Michelle Wie won the US Women's Open this morning (Singapore time), firing an even-par final round of 70 at Pinehurst for the first Major title of her career.
The American, tipped for stardom even before she turned pro at age 15 in 2005, finished with a two-under total of 278, two strokes ahead of world No. 1 Stacy Lewis, who kept the pressure on with a final-round 66 for 280.
"I had a lot of fun out there. I woke up so excited," said Wie.
"I was so grateful for this opportunity."
Her three-stroke lead shrank to one with a double-bogey at 16th.
But she responded by burying a 25-foot birdie putt at 17 to take a two-stroke lead into the final hole.
"I got a lot of goosebumps walking up 18," said Wie, who allowed herself a small smile and wave as she was greeted at the 18th green by a standing ovation.
Wie, swept along by a wave of hype and endorsements when she turned pro, drew criticism for her early insistence on trying to challenge in men's events before she became a proven winner against the world's top women.
This morning's triumph was her fourth on the US LPGA Tour, and her second of the year.
In April, she won the Lotte Championship in her home state of Hawaii to end a victory drought that stretched back to 2010.
The Major title, on the course where Germany's Martin Kaymer lifted the US Open trophy a week earlier, also helped erase her near-miss in the Kraft Nabisco Championship this year.
She went into the final round of the year's first Major at Rancho Mirage tied for the lead, but ended up second behind 19-year-old Lexi Thompson.
"Obviously there are moments of doubt," Wie said, when asked if she ever wondered if she could win on the game's biggest stages.
"But, at the same time, I just had so many people around me... they never lost faith in me. That's what kind of pushed me forward."
Lewis - who started the day six shots off the lead, shared by Wie and South Korea's Amy Yang - posted an impressive eight birdies in her 66.
It included a birdie-birdie finish that had her three shots behind Wie as she walked off the course.
Lewis said: "It feels great to finish the way I did. I knew I needed to go out early today, post a number and make Michelle earn it."
Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow, playing her first tournament as a professional, carded a 69 to finish third on 281.
Yang carded a four-over 74 that placed her fourth on 282. - AFP.
278: Michelle Wie 68-68-72-70
280: Stacy Lewis 67-73-74-66
281: Stephanie Meadow 71-72-69-69
282: Amy Yang 71-69-68-74
Selected: 284: Lexi Thompson 71-68-74-71, Pornanong Phatlum 71-73-69-71
287: Lydia Ko 76-71-71-69, Feng Shanshan 77-70-70-70, Paula Creamer 70-72-72-73
Obviously there are moments of doubt. But, at the same time, I just had so many people around me... they never lost faith in me. That’s what kind of pushed me forward.
— Michelle Wie when asked if she wondered if she could win a Major