Golf: Michelle Wie wins HSBC event in dramatic fashion with birdie on 18th for one-shot victory

Golfer Michelle Wie lifting her trophy after winning the HSBC Women's World Championship, on March 4, 2018.
Golfer Michelle Wie lifting her trophy after winning the HSBC Women's World Championship, on March 4, 2018.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - American golf star Michelle Wie ended a four-year wait for her fifth LPGA Tour title on Sunday (March 4) with a stunning comeback to capture the HSBC Women's World Championship.

The 28-year-old fan favourite fired a closing seven-under 65 for a winning total of 17-under 271 at the Sentosa Golf Club.

She finished one shot clear of compatriots Nelly Korda (71), Danielle Kang (70), South Korean Jenny Shin (65) and Canadian Brooke Henderson (67) at the New Tanjong Course.

Wie had led the 2017 HSBC edition after the third round but shot 72 to end tied-fourth as South Korean Park In Bee emerged triumphant.

This time would be different, Wie said. "I wanted really badly to win, especially after what happened last year, I had some unfinished business here. I knew if I shot almost seven, eight-under, I'd have a chance."

Wie, whose last victory was the 2014 US Women's Open, had started the day five shot behind Korda at the US$1.5 million (S$1.98 million) tournament.

But Wie, ranked 26th in the world, was flawless on Sunday, firing seven birdies without dropping a shot.

She rolled in a birdie from 45 feet on the par-four 18th and celebrated with several fist pumps, knowing that it had moved her to 17-under overall and atop the leaderboard.

She added: "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.

"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.

"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."

Atthaya Thitikul, the 15-year-old Thai amateur, closed with a 66to finish 13-under 275 and tied-eighth. World No. 1 Feng Shanshan closed with a 71 and was on 282 for solo 30th.