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Wie ties for 8th at NW Arkansas Championship

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:02 a.m. HST, Jun 30, 2014

ROGERS, Ark. >> Stacy Lewis made a 7-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday in the NW Arkansas Championship to finally win an official event in her adopted state.

The top-ranked Lewis, the Texan who played at the nearby University of Arkansas, earned an unofficial win in the rain-shortened 2007 tournament as an amateur. On Sunday, she closed with a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory.

Lewis birdied three of her final holes for her third LPGA Tour victory of the year and 11th overall. She finished at 12-under 201 at Pinnacle Country Club.

Lydia Ko, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford tied for second. Ko finished with a 65, and Kerr and Stanford shot 67.

Second-round leader Michelle Wie shot a 73 to tie for eighth at 8 under.

Kerr had a chance to match Lewis at 12 under with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th. However, her putt came up short.

Then, after So Yeon Ryu failed to make an eagle on the final hole, Lewis' win was secured. Ryu ended up fifth at 10 under after a 69.

Lewis won the Shoprite Classic this month as well as the North Texas Shootout in May.

The two-time major winner has long said, though, how much pressure she felt to win in Arkansas -- where she was a four-time All-American in college and is greeted throughout rounds by calls of "Woo Pig Sooie."

She was tied for the lead entering the final round last year before finishing in a tie for fourth, but her final birdie spree finally secured her sought-after win Sunday.

Wie began the final round with a two-shot lead after back-to-back 5-under 66s, but she missed short birdie putts on the first two holes and struggled to a 1-over front nine -- capped by a three-putt bogey on the ninth.

The whirlwind media tour following last week's win at the U.S. Women's Open appeared to finally catch up after that with Wie, who followed with bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11 to effectively end her contention. She finished with 35 putts after needing 28 the first round and 29 in the second.

With Wie coming back to the field, several players climbed up the leaderboard and into contention on the back nine -- with Lewis, Ko, Kerr and Stanford part of a four-way tie atop the leaderboard at one point.

Lewis began the tournament 2 over after her first four holes Friday, but she closed by shooting 14 under over her final 68 holes.

She took advantage of the opening with Wie's stumble and vaulted into the solo lead at 11 under with a birdie on the par-4 16th.

Ko and Kerr answered with birdies to climb back to part of a three-way tie at 11 under, but Lewis had the last answer -- a 7-foot left-to-right birdie putt on No. 18 that resulted in a huge ovation from the pro-Arkansas gallery and a fist pump and sigh of relief from Lewis.

Lewis putted 25 times Sunday, a day after needing only 24 putts in the second round.

Chella Choi briefly was tied for the lead early in the round after a hole-in-one on the 166-yard par-3 sixth hole. She finished with a 69 to tie for sixth at 9 under.

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Wie falls back

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primowarrior wrote:
Tough day for Michelle. 35 putts won't get it done. I hope she gets it fixed for the British Open.
on June 29,2014 | 01:29PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Can't win em all, otherwise Michelle would be Tiger. This result makes the US Open win more meaningful.
on June 29,2014 | 02:28PM
STARA25 wrote:
Lead by 2 then ended-up tie for 8th... backed to the old awie self; Can't handle!!!
on June 29,2014 | 02:59PM
lava wrote:
Same old, same old. Table top putting my ***. Maybe she should try table top ping-pong.
on June 29,2014 | 04:15PM
bumbye wrote:
I guess you don't understand the game of golf. It's not that easy. There are different winners almost every week. That's why Tiger in his prime was unbelievable.
on June 30,2014 | 03:28AM
Kapaho wrote:
Back to her back habit of butchering one round. Can't catch Stacy Lewis when you're 4 back. Hopefully she can end with a good round and finish top ten.
on June 29,2014 | 07:03PM
entrkn wrote:
Top ten again Michelle... how much better could it possibly get...?!
on June 29,2014 | 08:34PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
too much twerking..messed up your putting
on June 29,2014 | 09:19PM
vpthnl wrote:
Michelle's bow to So Yeon Ryu's caddie showed a lot of respect to the Korean culture. Very classy
on June 30,2014 | 04:52AM
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