Pinehurst, NC (SportsNetwork.com) – Michelle Wie poured in a birdie putt on the 17th hole and parred the last to hold off Stacy Lewis and win the U.S. Women’s Open by two strokes.
Wie closed with an even-par 70 to end the championship at 2-under-par 278. This was Wie’s first major championship title and fourth win on the LPGA Tour.
The Hawaiian looked to be in trouble after a double-bogey on the 16th cut her lead to one, but Wie birdied the 17th to seal the win at Pinehurst No. 2.
“I just had a lot of fun. It’s like I said yesterday, I woke up so excited. I was just so grateful for this opportunity,” Wie said. “I got a lot of goose bumps walking up 18 just because I thought to myself how cool it was that I kind of had the same putt Martin (Kaymer) had. I didn’t hit it as hard as him. But I just can’t believe this is happening.”
Lewis, the world No. 1, tallied an impressive eight birdies in the final round as she fired a 4-under 66 to grab second place at even-par 280. Her 66 matched the low round of the championship.
Stephanie Meadow posted a 1-under 69 to grab third place at 1-over 281. Amy Yang, who shared the third-round lead with Wie, struggled to a 4-over 74. She fell to plus-2 for the championship, and she took fourth place by herself.
Meena Lee (68) and 2011 champion So Yeon Ryu (70) shared fifth at 3-over 283, while Lexi Thompson, Sakura Yokomine and Pornanong Phatlum all closed with 71s to share seventh at plus-4.
Wie and Yang started the day at 2-under, and both players stumbled to bogeys on the first. Yang faltered to a double-bogey on the second to fall two back, and she never recovered.
After Wie bogeyed the first, she ran off eight straight pars to close out the front nine. Her lead bounced between two and three strokes during that span.
Lewis, who was six groups ahead of Wie, played the first six holes at even- par. She ran home three straight birdie chances from the eighth. Lewis birdied the 13th to move to even-par, where she was one back.
That 1-stroke lead quickly moved back to four however. Lewis made a mess of the 14th after driving into the native area right of the fairway and that led to a bogey.
Wie drained a 9-foot eagle putt on the par-5 10th and that extended her lead to four strokes.
Lewis tripped to another bogey on the 16th, but closed with back-to-back birdies to post even-par.
“We worked on alignment, and found my hands were getting a little low on setup. And when that happens the putter breaks down and the head releases. That’s what we kind of worked on and that’s all I thought of today,” said Lewis of what she fixed after Saturday’s round. “And it was just a cool day. It’s amazing how your nerves start to affect you and on this golf course it makes it twice as hard. Just feels great to finish the way I did.”
Wie parred five in a row after her eagle to remain at minus-3. At the 16th, she found sand off the tee, then knocked her second into a bush. Wie took an unplayable lie penalty, then hit her fourth to 25 feet.
The 24-year-old 2-putted for double-bogey and that trimmed her lead to a single stroke.
As Lewis stayed loose on the driving range, Wie responded with an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to push her lead back to two.
“I kind of smiled after I made my double-bogey putt. I just like to make it hard on myself,” Wie joked. “Seventeen, I’ve played well there last couple of days and that putt went nicely to the right there at the end. It was awesome.”
Wie found the fairway off tee at the last and knocked her approach to about 20 feet. She calmly 2-putted for par and raised her arms in celebration.
“There are moments of doubt, but I had so many people surrounding me … that never lost faith in me and that’s what pushed me forward,” said Wie.
NOTES: Wie earned $720,000 for the title … This was her first title on mainland United States. Wie’s other victories were in Canada, Mexico and her native Hawaii … Wie joins Lewis as the only two players that have earned over $1 million this year, and Wie moved past Lewis atop the money list … Wie has nine top-10 finishes, including two wins, in 13 starts in 2014 … Canadian Brooke Henderson closed with a 1-under 69 to earn low amateur honors at 5-over-par 285 … Last year’s winner Inbee Park shot 3-over 73 for the second straight round, and finished in a tie for 43rd at 13-over 293 … The LPGA heads to Arkansas next week for the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, where Park won last year.