Michelle Wie didn’t fire back-to-back 65’s like Martin Kaymer last week, but she did card back-to-back 68’s on the difficult Pinehurst Resort Number 2 golf course. The 24 year-old Hawaii native leads the 2014 US Women’s Open and will take her three-shot lead to the first tee on Saturday afternoon and face a familiar foe.
Wie battled 19 year-old Lexi Thompson at the Kraft Nabisco earlier in the year, and lost her lead, and the tournament at Rancho Mirage in the LPGA’s first major. She will get a Mulligan at Pinehurst with the pair hitting the first tee at 1:25 PM Eastern Time.
Michelle Wie is attempting to win her first major championship during arguably, her finest year on the tour. She is ranked 11th in Rolex Rankings.
“I can’t complain. End of the day yesterday I was thinking if I just did this again, that would be nice,” said Wie. “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.”
Number six ranked Lexi Thompson had an up and down day on Friday, but got in the clubhouse with her own 2-under par 68. The difference between the two at the mid-point is her opening round one over par 71 on Thursday.
“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, not really — didn’t really get stressed out about the bad shots, just went to the next one, go find it and 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 leaders are well within the sights of the world’s number one player, Stacy Lewis. Lewis lead after opening with a three under par 67 on Thursday, but couldn’t make anything happen on Friday.
Stacy Lewis has never had very good luck in the National Championship, and Friday was no exception. A difficult golf course, and some bad luck, and she quickly lost her lead, ending the day at even par after giving all three strokes back. She still remains a threat to put it together and finish well in this event.
“I didn’t hit the ball very good to start,” said Lewis. “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.”
With the 36-hole cut coming at +9, the Donald Ross design sent some top players home for the weekend. 11 year-old Lucy Li was included in the group heading home this morning.
Li played a very difficult golf course pretty well considering her age, and size. She had matching 78’s in her first US Women’s Open, but from what I saw, she will be back.
The youngster held her composure, and followed disasters with some very good shots. In the end, the golf course was just too much.
“It’s been a great week,” said Li. “I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot and, yeah, I guess it has exceeded my expectations.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Li. “I guess that it was fun because I had two great playing partners. They were really nice. I guess because I did a good job of staying patient and going to the next shot and not caring about what happens.”