Michelle Wie had a two-shot lead after 11 holes and seemed poised to answer all of the questions about when her first professional win was going to come.
Then the 16-year-old from Hawaii bogeyed the 13th hole. That was all Karrie Webb needed.
Webb became the first woman to win three events this season after shooting a four-under-par 68 in the final round of the Evian Masters on Saturday, denying Wie her first LPGA Tour victory.
Webb finished at 16-under 272 for the tournament, one stroke ahead of Wie (68) and 42-year-old Laura Davies (67).
“I’m getting very close. Today was the closest I’ve ever been. It’s not as easy as it would seem,” Wie said of getting her first win. “I’m very proud that I’ve been playing this consistently. It’s an achievement on its own.”
It marked Wie’s best result this year and the fourth time in her career that she has finished as the runner-up in a pro tournament. In 2005, she was the runner-up at the McDonald’s Championship and tied for second at the SBS Open, as well as the Evian Masters. She and Lorena Ochoa finished eight shots behind Paula Creamer in last year’s tournament.
Wie was in a good position to become the youngest player to win an LPGA event, trailing Webb by one shot after the third round. She has come close to victory on other occasions, leading after the third rounds of the U.S. Open in 2005 and 2006.
Despite waking up with a stiff neck, Wie looked strong all day as she played in a group with Webb and Davies.
“Karrie and Laura are awesome players and I was very honored to play them,” Wie said. “Laura made some awesome shots. I was blown out of my mind and Karrie played some great shots too.
“I can learn from them, but I didn’t feel I was lacking anything playing them.”