Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Wie, 13, Wins National Title

June 23, 2003|From Associated Press

PALM COAST, Fla. — Michelle Wie now has a national championship to go with her unlimited potential.

Wie, the 13-year-old phenom from Hawaii, outlasted Virada Nirapathpongporn for a 1-up victory Sunday at Ocean Hammock to become the youngest winner in the 27-year history of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.

It wasn't easy for the 5-foot-11 Wie, whom Tom Lehman once dubbed the "Big Wiesy" because her swing reminds so many of Ernie Els.

She took the lead with a 25-foot eagle putt on the 14th hole, only to give it back when her drive found a water hazard.

Nirapathpongporn, who last year won the NCAA title as a sophomore at Duke, missed a three-foot par putt on the 17th to fall behind, only her third bogey of the 36-hole final. Her 20-foot birdie putt on the 36th hole to extend the match broke below the cup.

Wie tapped in her two-foot par putt on the 18th green for her first win outside Hawaii.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|