Michelle Wie made a big statement and a major move but Meena Lee had the final say at the Field’s Open.
Wie charged into contention with a six-under-par 66 but finished a shot out of the play-off that Meena Lee won on the third extra hole.
Seon Hwa Lee entered the final round with a two-shot lead but only managed a 71 while Meena Lee fired the best round of the day – a seven-under 65 to finish at 14-under 202 and force a play-off.
After trading a pair of pars, Meena buried a four-foot birdie putt to win her second LPGA title.
“It’s exciting,” Meena Lee said. “I had to just keep going and going but I am happy that I won.”
Wie opened with a 67 at the Ko Olina Golf Club but the 16-year-old prodigy came back to the pack a bit with a 70 in the second round that left her at seven-under 137, six strokes off the pace. Her 66 left her alone in third at 13-under 203.
In her home state and in her LPGA season debut, Wie briefly grabbed a share of the lead on the back nine but ran out of holes.
She pitched to within inches at the first and tapped in for birdie and drained a 20-foot birdie at the third. She dropped a birdie putt on 17 to join a four-way tie for the lead at 13 under.
Looking back, Wie will want to have the par-five 13th and her penultimate shot back. She three-putted for bogey at 13 and missed a birdie putt on 18 that would have earned her a spot in the play-off.
“That putt on 18, I basically hit that a lot,” Wie said. “I play here and I have putted that putt a lot. I felt comfortable over it and then once I hit it, it went in completely the opposite direction I wanted it to. It was supposed to go left to right, almost straight, but that thing curved left. So I guess that was not meant to be.”
It wasn’t meant to be this week, but judging by her recent performances on the LPGA Tour, Wie’s time is coming.
In her last six LPGA events, Wie has two second-place finishes and a pair of thirds. She would also have a fourth-place showing but was disqualified from the Samsung World Championship last season in her professional debut for signing an incorrect scorecard.
“I played awesome. I felt I played very solid but unfortunately it was not the way I wanted it to turn out,” Wie said.
“There is a lot of what if, what would have been. It would have been awesome if I had won but unfortunately it didn’t happen this week. Hopefully it will happen in the next one.”