PINEHURST, N.C. — Michelle Wie finally delivered a performance worthy of the hype that has been heaped on her since she was a teenager.
Wie bounced back from a late mistake at Pinehurst No. 2 to bury a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole, sending the 24-year-old from Hawaii to her first major championship Sunday, a two-shot victory over Stacy Lewis in the U.S. Women’s Open.
Wie closed with an even-par 70 and covered her mouth with her hand before thrusting both arms in the air.
Lewis, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, made her work for it. She made eight birdies to match the best score of the tournament with a 66, and then was on the practice range preparing for a playoff when her caddie told her Wie had made the sharp-breaking birdie putt on the 17th.
Lewis returned to the 18th green to hug the winner after other players doused Wie with champagne.
What a journey for Wie, who now has four career victories — all in North America, the first on the U.S. mainland — and moved to the top of the LPGA money list after winning the biggest event in women’s golf.
She has been one of the biggest stars in women’s golf since she was 13 and played in the final group of a major. Her popular soared along with criticism when she competed against the men on the PGA Tour while still in high school and talked about wanting to play in the Masters.
That seems like a lifetime ago. The 6-foot Wie is all grown up, a Stanford graduate, popular among pros of both genders and now a major champion.
Wie finished at 2-under 278, the only player to beat par in the second week of championship golf at Pinehurst. Martin Kaymer won by eight shots last week at 9-under 271, the second-lowest score in U.S. Open history.
Streelman wins Travelers
CROMWELL, Conn. — Kevin Streelman birdied the last seven holes to win the Travelers Championship by a stroke at TPC River Highlands.
Streelman shot his second straight 6-under 64 to finish at 15-under 265. He broke the tour record for consecutive closing birdies by a winner of six set by Mike Souchak in the 1956 St. Paul Open.
The 35-year-old Streelman also won the Tampa Bay Championship last season. He missed the cuts in his previous four starts on tour.
Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi tied for second. They each shot 67.
Aaron Baddeley was fourth at 13 under after a 69.