PINEHURST, N.C. – Michelle Wie carded another 2-under 68 on Pinehurst No. 2 and held a three-shot lead over Lexi Thompson by the end of the second round of play at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on Friday.
“I can’t complain, Wie said.
“End of the day yesterday I was thinking if I just did this again, that would be nice. But always finishing with two birdies is always great. It’s a grind out there. It’s not easy. Really grateful for the par putts that I made and some of the birdie putts that I made. I can’t complain – I’ll take it.”
It’s the first time in Wie’s career that she has led a major championship after 36 holes and also the first time that she has led after the second round of any tournament since 2010.
First-round leader Stacy Lewis who started the day a shot ahead of Wie, struggled to score birdies and as a result finished with a 3-over par 73, and fell four shots behind.
““I didn’t hit the ball very good to start,” Lewis said.
“Then the putting just didn’t help. At a U.S. Open you’re going to have to make some 5- and 6-footers and that’s what I didn’t do today. I hit some bad iron shots but I didn’t leave myself in that bad of places, I just didn’t putt very good, but I played really good the last five holes. So I hung around and that’s what you’ve got to do at this tournament.”
As Wie continued to hold the clubhouse lead as playing groups completed their rounds, she was the only competitor in red numbers until Thompson finally joined her with her own 2-under par 68 finish.
“Today went very well for me,” said Thompson.
“I just stayed within one shot at a time and did my routine and had fun in between shots – didn’t really get stressed out about the bad shots – just went to the next one. I think that’s all about U.S. Women’s Opens. You just have to stay patient, and there was a few birdie holes on back nine for me, on my second nine, so I knew I could make a few birdies there.”
Both Wie and Thompson are familiar with playing alongside one another as the final pairing in a major championship, dating back to earlier in the season when the two went head-to-head during the final round of the LPGA Tour’s Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Though Thompson claimed that tournament win and her first career major title, it was too early to talk about the final finish by both competitors.
“I would say it’s just staying in one shot at a time,” Thompson said.
“Not getting ahead of yourself because out here, anything can happen. You just can’t think about shots ahead, you have to think about that same exact shot that you’re getting over; think about the yardage you want to hit it and where you want to place it on the greens out here. You can’t think about the results.”
“I’m just going to go out there and have fun,” Wie said.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity that I have. Being in contention, having the clubhouse lead for now, I’m just really excited for the weekend. I’m really excited that I have chance and I’m going to have a lot of fun this weekend.”
Trailing Wie and Thompson, Lewis was tied for third place at even par along with Amy Yang and top amateur Minjee Lee.
Lee, from Australia, finished better than two former U.S. Open champions in Paula Creamer (T-7th, +2) and her idol and two-time U.S. Open champion Kari Webb (T-10th, +3).
Creamer finished with a 2-over par 72 while Webb finished the second round with a 3-over 73.
Lee is more than pleased with her performance so far in her U.S. Women’s Open debut, stating, “it is my first and I’m in contention, so I can’t ask for anything more, really.”
While Lee and five other amateurs made the cut at +9 overall, 11-year old Lucy Li ended her first USGA championship experience by scoring another 8-over par 78 and missed the cut with a +16 (156) finish that taught her some important lessons.
“You have to be patient,” Li said.
“That’s what I learned – definitely. Because I did a good job of that this week and it really helped because I got triples and I came back with birdies. That’s what’s really important.”
2014 U.S. Women’s Open Leaderboard (uswomensopen.com)