Happy ending to Wie’s long wait
THE wait is over for Michelle Wie (pictured left), who recorded her first professional victory on Sunday at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex.
In her 65th LPGA tournament – 18th as a member this season – the 20-year-old clinched the win with a 30-yard sand shot to one foot on the 72nd hole for birdie.
Wie joins six other Rolex First-Time Winners this season and is the fifth American winner on the LPGA Tour this season.
“It feels, it sounds cliché, but it feels awesome,” Wie said. “Fantastic actually. For sure, it’s definitely (a monkey) off my back. I think that hopefully life will be a lot better, but I still have a lot of work to do.”
Wie’s day started strongly with birdies on holes one and three. She recovered from a three-putt bogey on five with a 15-foot birdie on the seventh hole to turn at 2-under for the day. Another birdie at 11 gave her the outright lead, but things got interesting at the 12th hole.
The Hawaiian knocked her drive on the cart path and was given relief, but her second shot caromed off a tree ... 50 yards backwards.
She scrambled for bogey and got a boost from Creamer, who bogied 14 and 17, and Cristie Kerr, a co-leader leader early in the back nine, who made bogey at 15 and 16 to drop out of the hunt.
Wie sealed the victory when she put her 5-wood into the front left bunker at 18 and blasted out to tap-in range for birdie.
“It’s just so awesome,” Wie said after accepting the $220,000 first-place cheque. “The fans here, it was deafening, the cheers. It just felt so good. It was a great crowd to do it in front of.” she said