WINNIPEG, Manitoba » In some ways, this win may have been more special than the first.
Punahou graduate Michelle Wie closed with a 2-under 70 yesterday for a three-shot win at the CN Canadian Women’s Open, her second career victory on the LPGA Tour.
Wie, who was 12 under for the tournament, earned the winner’s check of $337,500 in the $2.25 million event at the St. Charles Country Club — the LPGA’s only stop in Canada.
Wie had five birdies, including on the 13th, 14th and 15th holes.
"I made a lot of crucial putts today," said Wie, who at 10 years old was the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship.
Jiyai Shin of South Korea shot a 73 and tied for second with Kristy McPherson (66), defending champion Suzann Pettersen of Norway (69) and South Korea’s Jee Young Lee (69).
Wie led wire-to-wire after an opening 65 and was tied with Shin for the lead entering the final round at 10 under.
"My shot was really good, but my putting was so bad," said Shin, who has four victories since joining the tour last season.
"I (had) lots of chances for birdies, but I couldn’t make it just a couple times."
Ai Miyazato (69) of Japan, the No. 1-ranked player heading into the tournament, finished tied for 15th, while No. 2 Cristie Kerr (69) tied for eighth.
After the 20-year-old Wie ended her round on the 18th green, her longtime friend and fellow American player Christina Kim sprayed her with champagne.
"I was trying to run away from her," Wie said with a laugh. "All I was thinking in my mind was I’m wearing white pants, please be nice ‘Tina."
Wie’s first career win came in November at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational during her rookie season. Her opening round this week featured the second hole-in-one of her pro career.
She carded three bogeys and had to hole a knee-knocking 5-footer for par at the 16th after Shin rolled a birdie in from 25 feet to cut Wie’s lead to three. It was part of a four-hole stretch for Wie that began with back-to-back birdies at the two par 5s at Nos. 13 and 14, and ended with the big par putt at 16.
Both players showed nerves with bogeys at the 17th, but having a three-shot advantage coming up the last was more than enough for Wie, who took dead aim at the pin on 18, leaving herself a 15-foot birdie putt below the hole. She led 68 of the 72 holes.
"It’s a confidence booster and I’m so happy," Wie said. "Hopefully, I can win a lot more."
Wie is now 10th on the money list with $667,159 in 15 events. It erases a somewhat disappointing season for her that saw her worldwide ranking drop from No. 5 to No. 12 this year. She will likely be back in the top 10 when the new rankings are released tomorrow.
Wie said she’s heading back to school at Stanford after the LPGA’s next event — the P&G NW Arkansas Championship beginning Sept. 10.