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 late Sunday afternoon in the traditional victory leap, while Wie 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."
Thompson closed with a bogey-free, 4-under 68 for a three-stroke victory over Wie, birdieing four of the first nine holes to open a five-stroke lead 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.
"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. She opened with a 73, shot a tournament-best 64 on Friday and had a 69 on Saturday to tie Wie for the lead at 10 under. Thompson had only one bogey — when she missed a 3-footer on the par-5 18th Saturday.
"I thought I played OK," said Wie, 24, who last won in 2010. "I’m just proud of myself for how the week went."