Wie ends title drought in Singapore
Former world No. 1 emerges with one-stroke win for her first title in four years
What started out as a battle between Nelly Korda and Danielle Kang for the HSBC Women's World Championship title transformed into a four-way fight that came down to the final hole yesterday.
After much drama, it was Michelle Wie who emerged victorious by one stroke after the 28-year-old American sank a 45-foot putt for a birdie on the last hole, while the rest faltered at Sentosa's New Tanjong Course.
Magnificent displays by Wie and Jenny Shin had seen the duo offset their respective five- and six-point gaps on the leaders to tie for top spot.
But Shin, who enjoyed eight birdies in her last round, could not provide the fairy-tale end to her stellar performance as the 25-year-old South Korean bogeyed her last hole.
It seemed as though the chaotic round was headed for a play-off when Wie's second shot landed just off the green, 45 feet away from the hole.
The former world No. 1 opted for a putt instead of a chip and it paid off. She sank the monster putt to finish her bogey-free round with a seven-under 65.
Wie punched the air emphatically while the crowd around her cheered, as the birdie on the last hole meant that she closed with a 17-under 271, sending her top of the leaderboard.
Overnight leader Korda came close to matching Wie's birdie, but her nine-foot putt went wide, handing Wie the win while earning Korda a share of second spot alongside Kang, Shin and Brooke Henderson.
"That has to be the best putt of my career," said an elated Wie. "It's been a tough journey, but I'm just really proud that I pulled myself out of it."
It’s been a tough journey since 2014. I’ve had some injuries, had a really bad year, just lost a lot of confidence. But I’m just really proud for pulling myself out of it.Michelle Wie
In the process, Wie had also avenged last year's loss,when she had led after the first and third rounds.
She said: "Having that lead on the last day and coming up just a little short last year, I came back, having the confidence knowing that I can do it, and I just wanted to finish the deal."
Yesterday's win came after an injury-plagued four years since her last victory at the 2014 US Open .
Wie said: "That's a long time ago. I was on the stage, this feels new, it's such a long time.
"It's been a tough journey since 2014. I t's been kind of well documented. I've had some injuries, had a really bad year, just lost a lot of confidence.
"But I'm just really proud for pulling myself out of it. I felt like I had a good year last year when I built confidence and I just want to keep building confidence from there.
"I just want to keep rising. I just want to keep playing the best I can, trying the hardest I can and trying to become the best player that I can be."
Wie credited her family - her parents witnessed her triumph at Sentosa - and friends for helping her tide through difficulties.
She said: "Definitely, my team and my family and my friends have pulled me out of the hard times and kept me going.
"It was hard to keep going and playing. My family believed in me relentlessly and, with that, I started to believe in myself."
For Korda, defeat was not an easy pill to swallow, but the 19-year-old is looking ahead.
The world No. 56 said: "I had a bunch of putts that were really close and a lot of them lipped and burnt edges.
"It definitely hurts, but that's golf. There's going to be another tournament. There's going to be another feeling like this. Just have to keep going forward."
Meanwhile, South Korea's Sei Young Kim set a tournament record by carding a 10-under 62, finishing at tied-10th with a 12-under 276.
271: Michelle Wie 67-73-66-65
272: Jenny Shin 71-68-68-65, Brooke M. Henderson 68-72-65-67, Danielle Kang 68-64-70-70, Nelly Korda 70-66-65-71
273: Ko Jin Young 72-67-67-67, Lee Minjee 71-66-68-68
275: Angela Standford 76-66-70-63, Atthaya Thitikul 70-71-68-66