Wie claims maiden pro title

Wie claims maiden pro title

Michelle Wie of the United States hugs her Lorena Ochoa Invitational trophy on Sunday. AFP

The 20-year-old Hawaiian, who first qualified for an LPGA event when she was 12, closed with a three-under par 69 for a 13-under 275 total to collect a $220,000 cheque.

"It feels, it sounds cliche, but it feels awesome," Wie told the LPGA website (www.lpga.com) after her round.

"For sure, it's definitely (a monkey) off my back. I think that hopefully life will be a lot better, but I still have a lot of work to do. I still have a lot to improve."

Starting the day joint leader with Cristie Kerr, Wie notched birdies on the first, third and 11th before stumbling at the 12th with a bogey.

She held firm with five straight pars, however, before sealing the victory in style on the last, a 30-yard bunker shot landing a foot from the hole for a tap-in birdie.

"I was just focusing on just not hitting anyone in the crowd," said Wie when asked about the winning shot.

"It's a shot that I feel comfortable with. I just went up and walked up to it, looked at it, and hit it. I didn't give myself any time to doubt myself."

The win moved Wie to 14th on the LPGA money list with $918,659, behind leader Shin Ji-yai of South Korea on $1,775,104.

Wie, long touted to become a great of the game, became the youngest person, and the fourth female, to play in a PGA Tour event when she missed the cut at the 2004 Sony Open.