Tseng sinks 12-foot birdie to topple Wie

Updated: June 27, 2004, 5:08 PM ET
Associated Press

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Ya-Ni Tseng of Taiwan made a 12-foot birdie putt on the 36th hole Sunday, capping a dramatic comeback to beat Michelle Wie and win the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.

Wie, the 14-year-old defending champion, led 4 up early in the match and 1 up heading to the 34th tee. But she missed a 6-foot putt, allowing Tseng to pull even, and left a long putt on the last hole on the edge.

Tseng, 15, then rolled hers in to complete the stunning upset.

While Tseng sought out and hugged her American host, Ernie Huang of San Diego, Wie wept and sought comfort in an embrace from her mother after losing a title she was favored to win.

"Nothing really worked out for me today from the start to the end," Wie said, her eyes welling up with tears. "I just played terribly.

"I made a lot of bogeys and gave a lot of strokes away."

Tseng, who looked as though she would lose when she dropped to 4 down after 14 holes, never gave up hope in coming back -- even after hitting her drive into the woods with three holes to play, all but giving Wie a 1-up lead.

Wie's three-putt on the next green -- her first putt went about 6 feet past, and her second lipped out -- brought the match back to even, and a pair of long two-putts on the par-3 17th brought it to the par-5 18th.

Tseng hit her drive long and right, the ball sitting up nicely in the rough. Wie hit the fairway a few yards further back and went first, her 3-wood going left of the green and rolling into a greenside sand trap.

Tseng, another long hitter, first grabbed an iron from her bag, then reconsidered and hit a wood, ignoring the sand trap protecting the flag in the right corner of the green and hitting the ball into the trap.

Wie's chip from the sand came up well short of where she wanted it to, despite her imploring it to "get up," and Tseng blasted to 12 feet.

After Wie's 25-footer stopped on the edge, Tseng holed the winner.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press