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Golf

  • Derek Fathauer leads Web.com Tour Championship
    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Derek Fathauer shot a 3-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Zac Blair in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.
  • Leader builds Web.com margin
    Zac Blair topped the Web.com Tour Championship leader board at 13 under Friday when second-round play was suspended because of darkness. Blair was 5 under with three holes left in the round that was delayed because of rain.
  • R&A votes to admit women as members
    The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews is no longer just for men.
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Leader board
Pinehurst Resort and
Country Club, No. 2 Course
Yards: 6,649 Par: 70 Second round
Scores Par
Michelle Wie 68-68—136 -4
Lexi Thompson 71-68—139 -1
a-Minjee Lee 69-71—140 E
Amy Yang 71-69—140 E
Stacy Lewis 67-73—140 E
Associated Press
Michelle Wie finished with back-to-back birdies for a 2-under 68, to take a three-shot lead in the U.S. Women’s Open

Wie takes 3-shot lead in US Open

Thompson matches leader’s 68

– Michelle Wie is becoming a regular contender in major championships, only now as an adult.

She captivated women’s golf as a teenager, contending in three straight LPGA Tour majors when she was 16. That was when she still was trying to compete against the men, when she didn’t always look as if she was having fun and before injuries and criticism were a big part of her growing pains.

On another tough day at Pinehurst No. 2, the 24-year-old from Hawaii held it together Friday with two key par putts and finished with back-to-back birdies for a 2-under 68, giving her a three-shot lead going into the weekend at the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I think you look at the way Michelle has played the last six months and you look at her differently,” said Stacy Lewis, the No. 1 player in women’s golf who was four shots out of the lead. “I think she’s become one of the best ball-strikers on tour. She hits it really consistent. She knows where the ball’s going. And she’s figuring out how to win. That’s the big thing.”

But there’s a familiar name, and another teen prodigy, who joined Wie as the only players still under par.

Lexi Thompson, who soundly beat Wie in the final round to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship for her first major title, powered her way out of the sand and weeds, running off three straight birdies to match Wie’s 68, the low score Friday.

For all the interest in the men and women playing Pinehurst No. 2 in successive weeks, Wie and Thompson made the Women’s Open more closely resemble the first LPGA major. Is it too early to start thinking rematch?

“Definitely too early,” Thompson said with a laugh. “Thirty-six holes in a major, that’s a lot of golf to be played, especially at a U.S. Women’s Open.”

For now, Wie had control. Her three-shot lead is the largest through 36 holes in the Women’s Open in 11 years.

She twice thought her shots were going off the turtleback greens, and twice she relied on her table-top putting stance to make long par saves. She finished with a 6-iron that set up a 12-foot birdie putt, and a 15-foot birdie on the par-5 ninth to reach 4-under 136.

Just when it looked as if this had the trappings of another runaway – Martin Kaymer led by at least four shots over the final 48 holes to win the U.S. Open – along came Thompson with a shot reminiscent of what Kaymer did last week.

From the sand and bushes left of the fairway on the par-5 fifth hole, Thompson blasted a 5-iron from 195 yards just off the green, setting up two putts for birdie from about 60 feet. Kaymer was in roughly the same spot in the third round when he hit 7-iron from 202 yards to 5 feet, that pin position more toward the front.

That was her third straight birdie, and she closed with four pars to reach 139.

Lucy Li, the precocious 11-year-old and youngest qualifier in the history of the U.S. Women’s Open, isn’t leaving town until Monday.

She just won’t be playing any more golf. The sixth-grader from the Bay Area started with a double bogey for the second straight day and shot another 78 to miss the cut by seven shots.

The cut was 9-over 149.

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