Highlighted by a 35-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, Michelle Wie posted a final-round 7-under 65 to capture the HSBC Women’s World Championship by one stroke over Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Brooke Henderson and Jenny Shin.
Starting the day five shots back of leader Korda and four behind Kang, the 28-year old Wie made three front-nine birdies (Nos. 2, 4, and 8) to turn at 3-under 33. Three more gains on 10, 13, and 14 gave her a share of the lead at 16 under, alongside Korda and Kang, who combined for one birdie and 17 pars on their homeward nines.
Arriving at 18, Wie was in a four-way tie for the lead with Korda and Kang, along with a late-surging Jenny Shin, and needed a birdie to break the deadlock. But a short approach left her well off the green, and so the best case scenario seemed to be for Wie to get up and down, and hope for a playoff.
Wie had other thoughts, and hit the “best putt” of her career – a 35-foot bomb that dropped for birdie, and rocked the Sinagpore gallery.
“I just knew I wasn’t going to hit that short. I think I hit that hole pretty hard. But I think that has to be the best putt of my career so far,” said Wie.
Playing in the group behind Wie, both Korda and Kang finished with pars on 18, while Henderson birdied to move into the T2 group at 16-under par.
The victory was Wie’s first since capturing the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open title nearly four years ago.
“It’s been a tough journey since 2014. I think it’s been kind of well documented. You know, I’ve had some injuries, had a really bad year, just lost a lot of confidence,” said an emotional Wie.
“But I’m just really proud of myself for pulling myself out of it. I felt like I had a good year last year, a year where I built confidence, and I just want to keep building confidence from there. I just want to keep rising.
“I just want to keep playing the best I can, trying the hardest I can and trying to become the best player that I can be.”
Wie moves to No.2 in the Race to the CME Globe with the win, her fifth on the LPGA Tour.
1 Michelle Wie -17
2 Jenny Shin -16
2 Brooke Henderson -16
2 Danielle Kang -16
2 Nelly Korda -16
6 Jin Young Ko -15
6 Minjee Lee -15
8 Angela Stanford -13
8 Atthaya Thitikul -13
10 Sei Young Kim -12
10 Amy Yang -12
10 Jeong Eun Lee -12
10 Lydia Ko -12
10 Jessica Korda -12
Driving: 267.1 yards
Greens: 74% (53/72)
Fairways: 66% (37/56)
GIR Putts: 1.68 (96)
“Winning is everything. I mean, there is no better feeling than when you think that sink that winning putt. It’s a high, for sure. You go out there, and it’s this feeling that gets you going. It’s this feeling that makes you practice. It’s that winning putt that makes you practice for hours and hours and hours, and even the hard times, it gets you going back. You know that good feeling is on the other side.”
– Michelle Wie
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