Wie wins 2014 LPGA LOTTE Championship in Kapolei
Updated On: Apr 20 2014 04:19:33 AM HST
Hawaii's Michelle Wie won the 2014 LPGA LOTTE Championship at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei Saturday.
This is her first win on U.S. soil as a professional golfer, snapping a 79-event winless drought on the LPGA Tour.
And, Wie did it at home.
"I'm just having fun out there," said Wie, who grew up in Honolulu. "I was out there and nervous. Every time I felt nervous out there, I was looking around, I felt there was no place I'd rather be."
It took six birdies and only one bogey in the final round for the Punahou graduate to win after a spectacular performance by Angela Stafford in the second and third rounds of the tournament.
Wie finished with a 14-under 274 for the tournament -- two shots ahead of Stafford.
Wie went into Saturday's final round four strokes behind Stafford and tied with Hyo Joo Kim. But in the last round, Stafford shot a 1-over 73 -- her worst round of the tournament. And that opened the way for Wie's victory in her home state.
"Today, just didn't make the putts that I've been making," Stanford said. "I wasn't hitting it great today. Just misclubbed a couple of times. Just didn't make good decisions."
Wie came to LOTTE coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago in the Kraft Nabisco Championship when she closed with a 71 for her best position of the season.
"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."
The par-3 eighth brought Stanford, Wie and South Korea's Hyo Joo Kim to tie at 12 under.
A birdie for Wie on the par-3 12th gave her the outright lead, and she gave a small triumphant fist pump to the crowd.
"I really think a lot of times, they willed the ball in," Wie said of the fans. "I give a lot of credit to them this week."
Another birdie on the par-5 13th put Wie two strokes ahead of two-day leader Stanford and three strokes ahead of Kim.
Stanford and Kim were unable to close that gap..
"She's been playing great," Stanford said. "She's having a great year, so it was bound to happen. I just happened to be the one that caught the buzz saw."
Trade winds continued to challenge golfers all day, gusting upward of 20 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
"Well, my caddy isn't one for pep talks, but he gave a good one today," Wie said. "He said, 'It's windy out there today, but play your game,' and that's really what I did. I didn't try to force anything. I had a number in my head that I thought I needed to shoot, and I got it.
Kim came in fourth with 1-under 71 for 10-under 278 overall.
This is Wie's third LPGA title and her first since taking the CN Canadian Women's Open in 2010.
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