For the first time since 2010 and for just the third time in her career, Michelle Wie’s name was at the top of the leader board Sunday when the final putt was drained.
Starting the day four strokes off the lead, Wie shot a final round five-under 67 to win the LPGA LOTTE Championship in her native Hawaii. Finishing with a four day total of 14-under, it was the first time the Bear’s Club resident has won a golf event on any tour since winning the CN Canadian Women’s Open in 2010.
Wie came into the weekend coming off her best finish of the season when she finished second two weeks ago at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the LPGA season. While any professional victory is a special moment for a golfer, doing it on your home soil can make a win even more special.
“The highlight of this week was to come back home,” Wie said. “There wasn’t just one moment. From the first tee shot that I made to the last putt, the aloha that I felt from everyone was unbelievable.”
Wie and 54-hole leader Angela Stanford battled back and forth for the entire final round. Stanford started her final round strong, making a birdie on the third hole to get to 14-under. A bogey for Stanford and a birdie for Wie on the sixth though closed the gap to within a stroke.
The two repeated the same result at the eighth and a birdie at the 12th gave Wie the lead for the first time. She would birdie the 13th hole as well for a 2 stroke cushion and that would be all she needed for her third career LPGA Tour victory.
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