SINGAPORE (AP) — Michelle Wie holed a 36-foot putt from off the green on the final hole to win the Women’s World Championship by one stroke on Sunday and capture her first LPGA tournament since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.
With four players in contention to win on the last hole, Wie managed to separate herself from the pack when she drained her lengthy birdie putt on the 72nd hole at the Sentosa Golf Club for a final round of 7-under 65 to finish at 17-under 271.
The 28-year-old Wie, who led the tournament after three rounds a year ago before fading on the last day, leaped into the air and clenched her fist in celebration as the ball disappeared into the bottom of the cup.
But she still faced an anxious wait before being declared the winner.
“I wanted really badly to win, especially after what happened last year, I had some unfinished business here,” Wie said. I knew if I shot almost 7, 8-under, I’d have a chance.
Third-round leader Nelly Korda hit a superb approach into the 18th to set up a birdie opportunity that would have forced a playoff but missed her 8-foot putt and settled for a final-round 71.
“I had a bunch of putts that were really close and a lot of them lipped and burned edges. It definitely hurts, but that’s golf,” Korda said.
“There’s going to be another tournament. There’s going to be another feeling like this. Just have to keep going forward”.
Danielle Kang, last year’s Women’s PGA Championship winner, also missed a long birdie putt on the last to miss out on a playoff as she closed with a 70. Korda and Kang finished in a four-way tie for second at 16-under, alongside Jenny Shin (65) and Brooke Henderson (67).
Shin held the outright lead when she teed off at the last after reeling off 8 birdies between the 6th and 16th holes, but she dropped back to 16-under when she made her only bogey of the day on the final hole.
“The nerves got me, maybe,” Shin said. “Not sure if I would have made that mistake on many other holes. Oh, well.”
Henderson birdied four of her first eight holes to move up the leaderboard but could not manage another birdie putt to drop in until the final hole when it was too late for her to catch Wie.