Two days after golf bid adieu to Hawaii’s favourite daughter Michelle Wie West, the game was introduced to the next-generation Hawaiian star, Allisen Corpuz, who won the first US Women’s Open played on the historic Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday.
Corpuz, 25, a University of Southern California graduate and twice an All-American, began the final round trailing by one and wrested control of the national championship on the back nine, beginning with a birdie at the 10th hole. She added birdies at 14 and 15 en route to a three-under-par 69 and a three-stroke victory.
“Unreal. This week has just felt like a dream come true,” Corpuz said. “It’s been awesome to be out at Pebble this week. Every few holes I kind of looked out and said, ‘I’m out here at Pebble Beach. There’s not many places better than this.’ I just tried to keep grounded and play my game.”
It was her first victory as a professional and came on one of golf’s grandest stages, earning her a payday of $2 million, the largest in women’s golf. To say it was an upset is only marginally an understatement. She came into the US Women’s Open 29th in the Rolex Rankings, and in two previous major championships this year, she tied for fourth in the Chevron Championship and tied for 15th in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
She completed 72 holes in 10-under-par 278 with rounds of 69, 70, 71 and 69. England’s Charley Hull had the round of the day, a six-under-par 66 that enabled her to climb to a tie for second with Korean Jiyai Shin.
On Friday, Wie West, who won the 2014 U.S Women’s Open at Pinehurst, played what she said was her final competitive round and missed the cut. Corpuz did not arrive with the same fanfare as Wie West, but she was among those Hawaiian junior golfers to draw inspiration from her.
“I think she was just old enough where I never really interacted with her too much,” Corpuz said on Saturday. “But she’s done so much to put Hawaii golf on the map, women’s golf. Yeah, I have always been inspired by her. Definitely grew up watching her kill it out here, and it’s awesome to see her transition into the next phase of her life.”