Michelle Wie wins the first major title of her career at U.S. Women's Open
Hawaiian triumphs by two strokes at Pinehurst in North Carolina
World No. 1 Stacy Lewis claims second place after Sunday's 66
The week started with all focus on golf’s latest child prodigy, but it has ended with a former wonder kid finally fulfilling her great promise.
Michelle Wie claimed her first major title Sunday, winning the U.S. Women’s Open at her 11th attempt.
Now 24, she triumphed by two shots from fellow American, Stacy Lewis, holding her nerve as the world No. 1 made a final-round charge.
“Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening,” an ecstatic Wie was quoted as saying by the PGA website in the aftermath of her victory.
“Obviously, there are moments of doubt in there,” she continued, referring to the prospect that she might never win a major.”(But) I had so many people surrounding me. They never lost faith in me. That’s pushed me forward.”
This mental fortitude was on display as Wie overcame a double-bogey at the 16th hole, bouncing back with a birdie at the next and closing with a par to sign for a level 70.
Lewis also dropped a shot at 16, but finished with two birdies to card a four-under-par 66 that left her level for the tournament.
She finished one ahead of Northern Ireland’s 22-year-old Stephanie Meadow, who birdied her last hole to take third place in her professional debut ahead of South Korea’s Amy Yang.
Most of the talk at the start of the tournament, which was played at Pinehurst – also host of the men’s equivalent the previous week – was on 11-year-old Lucy Li.
The American was the youngest qualifier to start the event, but missed the halfway cut after carding two rounds of 78, though she impressed many with her mature attitude.
Wie first competed in an LPGA event when she was 12, then turned pro when she was 15 and also played in several men’s tournaments while still a teenager.
At age 16, she made the cut at the 2006 SK Telecom Open men’s event in South Korea, reportedly receiving a higher appearance fee than the winner took home.
Before this week, she had won four titles on the LPGA Tour – but her best result in a major was runner-up at the Kraft Nabisco Championship earlier this season, and as an amateur at the 2005 LPGA Championship.
Red hot Streelman wins Travelers
On the men’s PGA Tour, Kevin Streelman birdied his last seven holes in a row to overtake Sergio Garcia, K.J. Choi, and Aaron Baddeley and claim a sensational Travelers Championship victory at TPC River Highlands Sunday.
The 35-year-old was way off the pace as he headed on to the back nine but made birdie on the 411-yard par-four 12th to signify the beginning of a red hot charge that would see him claim the outright lead on 15-under-par at the last.
Streelman had to wait for Choi and Garcia to finish their rounds but the chasing pair couldn’t make birdie at the 18th sealing a remarkable triumph for the American.
The win marks first time a player has ever birdied the last seven holes of a tournament to win a title on the PGA Tour.
“(It was) just one of those days where I felt I couldn’t miss,” a delighted Streelman told CBS after reaching the club house.
Choi and Garcia finished joint second on 14-under-par while Baddeley ended the day a shot further back in fourth at 13-under-par.
America’s Brendan Steele and Ryan Moore tied for fifth at 12-under-par.
Ilonen holds on in Cork
Finland’s Miko Ilonen held off Italy’s Edoardo Molinari to win the Irish Open at Fota Island in Cork by a single shot.
Ilonen had led the tournament from the opening day but suffered a late scare on the par-five last after driving a wayward tee-shot into the trees.
The 34-year-old composed himself, however, and closed out with a bogie to finish at 13-under-par and win by the slimmest of margins.
Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg and English duo Matthew Baldwin and Danny Willett finished the day tied for third on 11-under-par behind second placed Molinari on 12-under.
Home favorite Graeme McDowell, meanwhile, failed to secure a much desired first win on Irish soil as a poor putting display ensured he ended the tournament in sixth position at 10-under-par.