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Wie falls short at Kraft Nabisco

Punahou School alumnus finishes runner-up to Thompson in year’s first major

April 7, 2014
By JOHN NICHOLSON , The Associated Press

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Lexi Thompson went after it at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, smashing driver on every hole she could. Michelle Wie reined in her power, hitting conservative fairway-metal stingers and only occasionally letting loose with the driver.

Thompson ended up cannonballing into Poppie's Pond on Sunday afternoon in the traditional victory leap, while Wie, a Punahou School alumnus, was left to wonder about her strategy.

"I play this course very aggressively," the 19-year-old Thompson said. "I didn't want to change the way I played the last few days because my driver won't get me in any trouble on a lot of the holes. So, laying back wouldn't really make sense.

Article Photos

Michelle Wie, a Punahou School alumnus, played conservatively during the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Sunday. Instead of hitting driver, she often chose to lay up with iron shots.
AP photo

"The greens were a little firmer, so even with a wedge in your hand you had to play for quite a bit of bounce out. I figured the closer I could get, even if I was in the rough, I could get it pretty close to the hole."

Thompson closed with a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 for a three-stroke victory over Wie, birdieing four of the first nine holes to open a five-stroke advantage and parring the final nine.

Wie birdied the final hole for a 71. She used her driver only four times, choosing to hit fairway woods on the other 10 driving holes - leaving her as much as 60 yards behind Thompson. When both hit 3-woods, Thompson also had the advantage.

Fact Box

Pro Golf

LPGA KRAFT NABISCO CHAMPIONSHIP

Sunday’s Final Round At Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Lexi Thompson, $300,00073-64-69-68—274-14
Michelle Wie, $187,58467-71-68-71—277-11
Stacy Lewis, $136,07973-70-69-69—281-7
Cristie Kerr, $94,99869-70-71-72—282-6
Se Ri Pak, $94,99867-70-71-74—282-6
Shanshan Feng, $69,32366-73-72-72—283-5
Azahara Munoz, $51,52272-70-70-72—284-4
Angela Stanford, $51,52274-69-69-72—284-4
Charley Hull, $51,52273-69-66-76—284-4
Amy Yang, $41,59468-73-71-73—285-3
Caroline Masson, $33,91173-72-72-69—286-2
Morgan Pressel, $33,91170-70-75-71—286-2
Karrie Webb, $33,91173-70-70-73—286-2
Gerina Piller, $33,91177-65-70-74—286-2
Catriona Matthew, $33,91172-68-70-76—286-2
Mi Hyang Lee, $24,28972-72-72-71—287-1
Na Yeon Choi, $24,28972-71-72-72—287-1
Tiffany Joh, $24,28970-75-70-72—287-1
Christina Kim, $24,28974-69-72-72—287-1
Anna Nordqvist, $24,28971-69-74-73—287-1
Jee Young Lee, $24,28971-75-67-74—287-1
Jiyai Shin, $24,28969-73-70-75—287-1
Chella Choi, $24,28970-72-69-76—287-1
Jessica Korda, $20,33573-73-71-71—288E
Minjee Lee75-68-73-72—288E
PGA HOUSTON OPEN
Sunday’s Final Round At Humble, Texas
x-won on first playoff hole
x-Matt Jones (500), $1,152,00068-68-71-66—273-15
Matt Kuchar (300), $691,20066-67-68-72—273-15
Sergio Garcia (190), $435,20067-65-73-70—275-13
Cameron Tringale (135), $307,20068-68-69-71—276-12
Shawn Stefani (110), $256,00067-69-73-69—278-10
Rickie Fowler (100), $230,40070-70-68-71—279-9
Brice Garnett (80), $186,24068-71-72-69—280-8
Retief Goosen (80), $186,24068-71-71-70—280-8
Russell Henley (80), $186,24073-69-72-66—280-8
Rory McIlroy (80), $186,24070-71-74-65—280-8
Ryan Palmer (80), $186,24070-68-73-69—280-8
Erik Compton (59), $125,44066-73-73-69—281-7
Ben Curtis (59), $125,44067-70-71-73—281-7
J.B. Holmes (59), $125,44066-73-71-71—281-7
Phil Mickelson (59), $125,44068-70-72-71—281-7
Chris Stroud (59), $125,44068-72-71-70—281-7
Martin Flores (54), $99,20068-72-72-70—282-6
Lee Westwood (54), $99,20070-72-71-69—282-6

"I stuck with my game plan and I think it was the right play," Wie said. "Who knows? In hindsight you would do something here or do something there, make a putt there. That's the way golf is. I just couldn't get anything going today."

Thompson finished at 14-under 274 at Mission Hills for her fourth LPGA Tour victory and first major championship.

"This is what I've worked so hard for," she said. "This was one of my goals coming into the year, to win a major. I've always seen myself winning a Kraft Nabisco."

Five years after she first played the tournament as a 14-year-old amateur, Thompson became the second-youngest major champion at 19 years, 1 month, 27 days. Morgan Pressel set the mark in 2007 at Mission Hills at 18 years, 10 months, 9 days.

"It has been an honor to play at this tournament so many years," Thompson said. "Only being 19 and to win it is even the biggest honor ever."

Thompson has three victories in her last 12 starts, winning in Malaysia and Mexico late last season. She also won the 2011 Navistar LPGA at 16 to become the youngest winner in tour history, a mark broken by Lydia Ko in the 2012 Canadian Women's Open.

"I'm really looking forward to the future," Thompson said.

The 24-year-old Wie won the last of her two tour titles in 2010.

"I thought I played OK," Wie said. "I'm just proud of myself for how the week went."

 
 
 

 

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