HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. – Michelle Wie was rolling her eyes and slapping her thigh in disgust early in the final round of the LPGA Championship.
By the end of the round Sunday, the 15-year-old from Hawaii was accepting back-slaps of congratulations for her career-best runner-up finish in the LPGA Tour major.
As challenger after challenger failed to make a run at steady-playing Annika Sorenstam in the final round, Wie worked her way up the leaderboard. The first amateur to play in the LPGA Championship closed with a 3-under 69 for an 8-under 280 total – three off Sorenstam’s winning score.
“I just felt really good about myself today,” Wie said. “I was trying to make a run for her money, but I just wanted to shoot a good score.
“I definitely felt like I had a chance. Although, the last couple holes, I knew it was kind of far to reach.”
Wie was the only player in the field to break par in all four rounds.
“That’s why I can’t understand people saying that she can’t be here,” said Laura Davies, who tied for third. “She belongs here.”
Wie is the sixth amateur to finish second in an LPGA major and the first since Jenny Chuasiriporn lost in a playoff to Se Ri Pak in the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open. Pat O’Sullivan (1951 Titleholders) and Catherine Lacoste (1967 U.S. Women’s Open) are the only amateurs to win majors.
She won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at age 13 and shot a 68 at the Sony Open last year at 14, the lowest score ever by a female competing on the PGA Tour. She finished fourth in the 2004 Kraft Nabisco and tied for second in an LPGA Tour event in January.
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