Thompson, who turned 19 in February, and Wie were both child
prodigies at different times and many fans of women's golf were
hoping for a compelling heavyweight final round duel at Mission
Hills in Rancho Mirage, California.
The two Americans started the day tied for the lead but it turned
out to be a mismatch as Thompson, five years younger than Wie,
displayed more aggression, greater composure and a better touch on
She sank a series of 10-foot putts to deliver a proverbial knockout
by taking a five-shot lead at the turn, an advantage which she never
looked remotely in danger of blowing as she cruised to her first
"I've worked my whole life to win a major and this was my main goal
coming into this year, so I'm excited and so grateful," Thompson
told Golf Channel after carding 68 to finish at 14-under-par 274.
"I drove it pretty well this week but I did make a few good putts so
overall a pretty solid week."
Only Morgan Pressel, who won the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship at
the age of 18, has won a women's major at a younger age.
Wie had a golden chance to seize her first major title and justify
the media hype that has followed her for more than a decade.
She played conservatively off the tee for the most part, however,
and was unimpressive on the greens with her unusual stooped putting
Not for the first time, she missed several short putts, including a
two-footer at the eighth hole, and her timidity ultimately cost her
any chance of winning.
Trailing by four strokes at the 13th hole, she inexplicably left a
five-foot birdie chance short, surrendering any faint chance of
making it a contest.
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"I think I got to a point I tried too hard to make birdies and I was
forcing everything," Wie said after shooting 71 to finish on
"If I'd just let it happen, I think I would have rolled a couple
more putts in. I wanted to make those putts so badly. At the same
time, Lexi played amazing today."
English teenager Charley Hull started the day two strokes off the
lead but a demoralizing four-putt double bogey at the eighth ended
her chance. She shot 76 to tie for seventh on four-under.
Thompson seemed destined for greatness after qualifying for the US
Women's Open at the age of 12, and winning her first LPGA event at
At the time she was the youngest ever LPGA winner but, as Wie has
shown, there are no guarantees that youthful promise will turn into
Thompson has proved no flash in the pan, though, and her power and
poise suggest she will be winning tournaments for a long time.
Wie, on the other hand, still has to prove herself on the biggest
stages in women's golf.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina)
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