Wie Wins In The Winds
By Torleif Sorenson on 4/21/14
Michelle Wie has been surging over the last eight months — and her win on Saturday at the LPGA LOTTE Championship in Hawaii is just the most recent evidence.
Last August, Wie was a captain's selection for the United States Solheim Cup team. Her 2-2-0 record at Colorado Golf Club belies the added punch she brought to the team; her short-game on Day 1 brought the U.S. a point they badly needed at that time.
After the 2014 LPGA season started in January, Wie racked up a T-13 in the Bahamas, a solo 4th at the Honda LPGA Thailand, a T-9 at the HSBC Women's Champions, a T-12, a T-16, and then a very impressive solo second-place finish at the LPGA's first major of the year at Mission Hills.
Playing in heavy winds on Saturday, Wie roared back from four shots behind Angela Stanford, nailing birdies on three of the first six holes. Two more birdies at 12 and 13 gave her a two-shot lead over Stanford that she held all the way to the end.
Wie ended up giving most of the credit to the spectators attending the tournament:
"I think the highlight really was just to come back home and — there really wasn't just one moment. From the first tee shot that I hit until the last putt that I made, the support that I felt from everyone was unbelievable. I really think a lot of times they willed the ball in. I give a lot of credit to them this week."Interestingly, this is Wie's first-ever victory on American soil; her first tour victory at the 2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational was at Guadalajara Country Club in Mexico, while her second victory in 2010 was at the Canadian Women's Open.
Wie has made all seven cuts on the LPGA Tour this year. With her win in her hometown on Saturday, she has jumped ten spots in the Rolex Rankings, from 23rd to 13th. Statistically, Wie is now #1 in the LPGA on the 2014 money list, in GIR, in scoring average, and in number of rounds under par. In the season-long Race to the CME Globe, she is in second place, just 106 points behind World Golf Hall-of-Famer Karrie Webb.
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