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Wie finishes on positive note

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    Michelle Wie surveyed the green before her putt on the 15th hole during the final round of the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina on Saturday. Wie finished the tournament with a 6-under 282 for 39th place.

Michelle Wie finally got the round she was looking for during Saturday’s closing 18 at the Lotte Championship.

Carding five circles and one square, Wie went 4 under for the day to close at 6-under 282 for the tournament, good enough for a tie for 39th.

“I finally got something going,” Wie said after the round. “I just didn’t give myself that many opportunities the first three days. It feels good to finish on a positive note.”

Wie had three birdies on her first five holes, then managed a half-dozen pars, before going into the red once more at Nos. 12 and 13. The lone blemish was a bogey at the par-3 16th. Wie had 31 putts in her final round, the worst of the week. She had only 27 in her first round and back-to-back 30s in rounds two and three.

Wie now has 20 consecutive rounds at par or better since rising to 75th in the world. Wie will take this week off before traveling to Texas for the next tour event.

Stanford pulls an ace

Past SBS Open at Turtle Bay champion Angela Stanford didn’t make a run for the top prize, but did manage the second hole-in-one of the tournament in Saturday’s final round.

Stanford was even for her round through seven when she stepped to the No. 8 tee. The Texan pulled out a pitching wedge on the 128-yard shot and got to feel what all golfers love to feel the most — it’s in the hole.

Stanford, who beat Wie by three in an exciting finish at Turtle Bay in 2009, finished a single stroke behind the Punahou product at 5-under 283. The 39-year-old closed with a 68 to tie for 47th.

Ko holds down No. 1 spot

World No. 1 Lydia Ko will be the best in the world for at least another two weeks.

The only way she could have lost her No. 1 ranking was if So Yeon Ryu had won and Ko finished lower than fifth. Neither of those events took place on Saturday.

That means Ko carries the No. 1 flag for another two weeks to run her string to 79 as the LPGA Tour heads to the Lone Star State for an April 27 start of the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout.

Ko closed with an 8-under 64 to tie for second with In Gee Chun and Su-Yeon Jang at 17 under. World No. 2 Ryu was right behind Ko at 15-under 273. Her final-round 67 left her alone in sixth. No. 3 Ariya Jutanugarn tied for seventh at 15 under with former world No. 1 Stacy Lewis (66) after closing with a 4-under 68.

“This has been a big confidence booster for me for the next coming events,” Ko said. “Considering how I started (with a 73 in the first round), I’m pleased with how I finished. I knew I had to make a fair amount of birdies to win today. I knew I was eight shots behind, so that was probably too many. But still pleased with how I played the last two rounds (at 15 under).”

For Ryu, this was her ninth consecutive top-seven finish.

Seong finishes week with 64

Eun Jeong Seong played her way into the tournament in the Sunday qualifier, stuck around throughout the week and closed the tournament with an 8-under 64 on Saturday.

The 17-year-old amateur from Korea shot a 71 a week ago to earn one of two spots available in the Sunday qualifier and fired a bogey-free 69 on Thursday to make the cut at 1 under. After a 71 on Friday, Seong played her final seven holes of the tournament at 6 under on Saturday, including an eagle at the par-5 14th, and finished the tournament at 10 under.

Seong appears on track for a return as a pro down the road. Last year, she became the third player to repeat as the U.S. Girls Junior champion and the first to pair that title with the U.S. Women’s Amateur championship. She had a hole-in-one in the first round of the ANA Championship last month before missing the cut at the season’s first major.

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