RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Michelle Wie didn’t win her first major Sunday at the Kraft Nabisco, but she didn’t lose it, either.
Lexi Thompson won with a bogey-free 68, the best round of the day. Wie closed with a 71, one of just 10 players to break par in the final round.
“Lexi played amazing today,” Wie said. “She played probably the best I’ve ever seen her play. She hit the ball so well, and she made everything. She played really well, and I thought I played OK, too.”
Thompson won launching her driver at just about every turn Sunday at Mission Hills. Wie played a different game. She didn’t try to match Thompson’s power, instead, working to dissect the course with a lot of 3-woods and hybrids.
Over the first 10 holes, Thompson had hit six drivers with Wie having hit driver just once.
Wie was asked if she would have hit more drivers in hindsight.
“I stuck with my game plan,” she said. “I think it was the right play. Who knows? In hindsight, you would do something here or there. That’s the way golf is.”
Really, it wasn't Wie's ball-striking that was wanting in the final round. She just didn't make enough putts, including a 5-foot birdie attempt at the 13th that she left short.
Wie, 24, didn’t win, but her second-place finish is her third top 10 in six starts this year. It’s her best finish in a major. Her play this week was confirmation she’s heading in the right direction.
“It was a lot of fun playing in contention, being in the final group,” Wie said. “I think it’s a sign. I’m getting close. I think I can get a lot of confidence from this week. I’m really proud of myself.”