PINEHURST, N.C. -- The road Michelle Wie took to a U.S. Womens Open title was unlike any other, and suddenly insignificant. Whether this was a long time coming was the least of her cares. The biggest star in womens golf had her name on the biggest trophy. She never looked happier. "Oh my God, I cant even think straight," Wie said Sunday after a two-shot victory over Stacy Lewis to claim her first major. The final three holes at Pinehurst No. 2 were filled with ups and downs that Wie knows as well as anyone in golf. She responded with a performance worthy of the hype that had been heaped on her since she was a teenager. With a three-shot lead on the 16th hole, Wie nearly threw it all away with one poor decision, only keeping the lead by making a nervy 5-foot putt for double bogey. And right when it looked as though this would end badly, the 24-year-old from Hawaii responded with the putt of her life that made her a Womens Open champion. Facing a 25-foot birdie putt on 17 that was fast and dangerous, Wie pumped her fist when it fell, then pounded her fist twice to celebrate the moment. "That kind of emotion, that kind of pressure ... Ill think of that putt as one of the best putts Ive ever hit in my life," she said. A par on the 18th gave her an even-par 70 to beat Lewis, the No. 1 player in womens golf who made Wie earn it. Lewis made eight birdies -- the most in a final round by a male for female in the U.S. Open -- and closed with a 66. Sixteen-year-old Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., shot a 69 in the final round to finish in a tie for 10th place. Lewis was on the range preparing for a playoff when her caddie told her Wie made birdie on the 17th. Moments later, Lewis was on the 18th green to hug Wie. Like most players, she was perplexed why Wie would spend so much time trying to compete against the men when she still didnt have an LPGA Tour card. They are friends now and practice frequently. Lewis said she wasnt the last bit surprised that Wie delivered such a clutch moment. "I think that scene on 18, being on network TV, as many people as we had around there at Pinehurst No. 2 and Michelle Wie winning the golf tournament, I dont think you can script it any better," Lewis said. "I think its great for the game of golf. I think its even better for womens golf. Im so happy for Michelle Wie. I mean this has been such a long time coming for her." Wie had chance to win this title when she was a 15-year-old amateur at Cherry Hills, and a 16-year-old pro at Newport. The last time she was in this area, she opened with an 82 at Pine Needles in 2007 and walked off the course the next day because of injuries. She had been one of the biggest stars in womens golf since she was 13 and played in the final group of a major. Her popularity soared along with criticism when she competed against the men on the PGA Tour while still in high school and talked about wanting to play in the Masters. That seems like a lifetime ago. The 6-foot Wie is all grown up. She is a Stanford graduate, popular among pros of both genders, and now a major champion. "I cant believe this is happening," Wie said. It almost didnt. Just like her so much of her life, the path included a sharp twist no one saw coming. Wie started the final round tied with Amy Yang, took the lead when Yang made double bogey on No. 2 and didnt let anyone catch her the rest of the day. In trouble on the tough fourth hole, she got up-and-down from 135 yards with an 8-iron into 3 feet. Right when Lewis was making a big run, Wie answered by ripping a drive on the shortened par-5 10th and hitting a cut 8-iron into 10 feet for eagle and a four-shot lead. She had not made a bogey since the first hole -- and then it all nearly unravelled. From a fairway bunker on the 16th, holding a three-shot lead, she stayed aggressive and hit hybrid from the sand. "I was kind of a dummy for not laying up when I was in that situation," she said. "And it kind of bit me in the butt. But I laughed it off. Stuff like that does happen." The only time panic began to set in was when no one could find her ball. It finally was located after a three-minute search, buried in a wiregrass bush. She quickly and wisely took a penalty drop behind her in the fairway to limit the damage, chipped to about 35 feet and ran that putt some 5 feet by the hole. Miss it and she would be tied. Bent over in that table-top putting stance, she poured it in to avoid her first three-putt of the week. Smiling as she left the green, she hit 8-iron to 25 feet and delivered a putt that will surely rank among the highlights in U.S. Womens Open history. Wie finished at 2-under 278, the only player to beat par in the second week of championship golf at Pinehurst. Martin Kaymer won by eight shots last week at 9-under 271, the second-lowest score in U.S. Open history. Juli Inkster, playing her 35th and final U.S. Womens Open, closed with a 75 to tie for 15th. She received the loudest ovation of the week walking up the 18th, until Wie arrived as the winner. What a journey. "I think that without your downs, without the hardship, I dont think you appreciate the ups and much as you do," Wie said, the gleaming trophy at her side. "I think the fact that I struggled so much, the fact that I kind of went through a hard period of my life, the fact that this trophy is right next to me, it means so much more to me than it ever would have when I was 15. "I feel extremely lucky." Ken Giles Jersey . With the final four being arguably the four best – and most complete – teams from the regular season, picking a winner is not as easy as it sounds. 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Francisco Liriano Jersey .Y. - Lou Williams scored 21 points and the Toronto Raptors beat New York 81-76 on Monday night in the Knicks preseason home opener.PITTSBURGH -- Chuck Noll, the Hall of Fame coach who won a record four Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died Friday night at his home. He was 82. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner said Noll died of natural causes. Noll transformed the Steelers from a long-standing joke into one of the NFLs pre-eminent powers, becoming the only coach to win four Super Bowls. He was a demanding figure who did not make close friends with his players, yet was a successful and motivating leader. The Steelers won the four Super Bowls over six seasons (1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979), an unprecedented run that made Pittsburgh one of the NFLs marquee franchises, one that breathed life into a struggling, blue-collar city. "He was one of the great coaches of the game," Steelers owner Dan Rooney once said. "He ranks up there with (George) Halas, (Tom) Landry and (Curly) Lambeau." Nolls 16-8 record in post-season play remains one of the best in league history. He retired in 1991 with a 209-156-1 record in 23 seasons, after inheriting a team that had never won a post-season game. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993. Noll worked so well with Steelers President Rooney that the team never felt the need to have a general manager. When he retired, and was replaced by Bill Cowher, only four other coaches or managers in modern U.S. pro sports history had run their teams longer than Noll had. "Chuck Noll is the best thing that happened to the Rooneys since they got on the boat (to America) in Ireland," Art Rooney II, the former Steelers personnel chief and the son of the team founder, once said. A former messenger guard for his hometown Cleveland Browns who earned the nicknamed Knute Knowledge -- as in Knute Rockne -- Noll was an assistant with the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Colts for nine seasons. Then he accepted what seemed a dead-end job in January 1969 as coach of the NFLs least-successful organization. Art Rooney Sr. often hired friends and cronies as coaches, and only two of the Steelers first 13 coaches had winning records. At the time Noll took over, the franchise was 105 games below .500 in its history. Noll, hired only after Penn States Joe Paterno turned down a $350,000, five-year offer, was different from any Steelers coach before him. He immediately brought intelligence, toughness, stability, confidence, character and a can-do mindset to a franchise accustomed to constant upheaval and ever-changing personnel. Asked at his first news conference if his goal was to make the Steelers respectable, Noll said, "Respectability? Who wants to be respectable? Thats spoken like a true loser." Perhaps not the most colorful coach behind the microphone, Noll could often be counted on for memorable, motivational one-liners that became rallying cries. Phrases like "A life of frustration is inevitable for any coach whose main enjoyment is winning," and "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it," and "The thrill isnt in the winning, its in the doing," spoke volumes about what Noll was trying to accomplish. They went over well in a football-crazed region of Pennsylvania. The day after Noll was hired, the Steelers drafted defensive lineman Joe Greene. He was the first of the nine Hall of Famers selected during the Noll era. Four of the others were drafted within Nolls first four seasons: Terry Bradshaw, Mel Blount, Jack Ham and Franco Harris. Four more arrived in the first five rounds of the 1974 draft: Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster. And the 1971 draft, though it produced only one Hall of Famer (Ham), generated seven starters. While the Steelers surprisingly won their opener under Noll in 1969, beating Detroit, they lost their final 13 games that season, and their first three in 1970. By then, some were questioning Nolls hiring. The Steelers turnaround began in earnest iin 1970, the year they moved into the AFC after the NFL and AFL merged.ddddddddddddThey drafted Bradshaw with the No. 1 pick, moved into Three Rivers Stadium after years of being a secondhand tenant of Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field. They won five of eight during one stretch. By 1972, the year Harris arrived to give them the ground game Noll sought, they were championship contenders with an 11-3 record and a weve-turned-the-corner attitude. Noll had long since run off underachievers and pushed the Rooneys to bring in the players he wanted. "Hell argue a point with you and keep yelling, No, this is right, youre wrong," Dan Rooney said. "Sometimes you have to say, This is the way were going to do it." The first traditional playoff game in Steelers history on Dec. 23, 1972, also signalled what was to come. The Steelers were in control of the John Madden-coached Raiders most of the game, until quarterback Ken Stabler scored in the final two minutes to put Oakland up 7-6. With the Steelers down to fourth-and-10 on their side of the field, Bradshaw lofted a pass downfield intended for Frenchy Fuqua. As Fuqua and safety Jack Tatum converged on the ball, it bounded high in the air for what looked to be a certain incompletion. Instead, Harris, trailing on the play, caught the ball nearly at his shoe tops and raced into the end zone for an improbable touchdown. The play would quickly become known as the "Immaculate Reception." Nolls Steelers did not win the Super Bowl that season -- they lost to unbeaten Miami on a fake punt in the AFC title game. But, with their roster completed by their remarkable 1974 draft, they finally became NFL champions and did it three more times by January 1980. Still, Nolls best team might have been in 1976, when the Steelers rebounded from a 1-4 start to go 10-4 -- even with Bradshaw injured and out most of the season -- by playing the greatest stretch of defence in NFL history. The Steel Curtain shut out five of their final nine opponents while yielding only 28 points. At one point, they didnt allow a touchdown for 22 quarters. However, Harris and Rocky Bleier, 1,000-yard rushers that season, were injured in a playoff game against Baltimore. Without a running game, they lost the AFC title to Oakland. A year later, Noll wound up in a federal court trial. He accused Raiders defensive back George Atkinson, who had levelled Swann with a brutal hit the season before, of being part of the NFLs "criminal element." Noll prevailed, but there were hard feelings when, under oath, he included Blount as also being part of that criminal element. The Steelers went 9-5 that season, but rebounded to win the championship in the 1978 and 1979 seasons. When all the talent began to retire, the championships ended. Great drafts gave way to poor ones. The Steelers won only two playoff games and no conference championships in Nolls final 12 seasons, missing the post-season eight times. Noll never was much of a yeller or screamer, though he had his moments. He confronted Oilers coach Jerry Glanville at midfield and warned him about the teams borderline-legal blocking techniques. "He didnt feel like it was his job to motivate," Bleier said. "It was his job to take motivated people and give them a direction and get the job done." When he retired, Noll always said he would never coach another team and he didnt. In 2007, the football field at St. Vincent College, the Steelers longtime training camp home in Latrobe, was named for Noll, even though he played at and graduated from Dayton. Born in Cleveland, Noll attended Benedictine High School, where he played running back and tackle, winning All-State honours, before gaining a scholarship to play for the Flyers. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburghs biggest, most traditional rival, in 1953. At 27, he retired as a player from the Browns in 1959. 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