Golf: Resurgent Michelle Wie breaks from pack at Blackwolf
Even as she climbed into the lead in the second round of the US Women’s Open, Suzann Pettersen took some time to admire Michelle Wie’s big move into contention.
Pettersen, the Norwegian star ranked sixth in the world, shot a four-under 68 at Blackwolf Run on Friday and moved to five under for the tournament. But Wie was even better on the day, carding a six-under 66 to move to four under and put herself in position to break out of a season-long slump.
Wie was tied with Cristie Kerr, the 2007 Open winner, one stroke off the lead.
Pettersen was playing in the group directly behind Wie, giving her a pretty good view of what turned out to be an impressive display of accurate approach shots and made putts.
“She was fist-pumping, every putt she looked at,” Pettersen said.
Wie, pictured, said she doesn’t spend much time thinking about the attention she received as a high-profile child prodigy in the early 2000s, or whether some fans had written her off since then. Wie was 12 years old when she qualified for an LPGA Tour event in 2002 – making her at the time the youngest player ever to do so.
She went on to compete in a handful of men’s tournaments, but never turned her early stardom into consistent success. She has two career LPGA Tour victories.
Now she’s 22 and, at least before Friday, struggling on the course. Wie has missed six of eight cuts this season, although she says she has been feeling better about her game. “The last couple of weeks it started to feel good,” Wie said. “Things were coming. My scores weren’t showing up as well. But it’s a work in progress. Still a long way to go.”
Top-ranked Yani Tseng was two over after a 72.
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis recovered from a first-round 77 to shoot a 69 on Friday, putting her two over. Third-ranked Ai Miyazato, the winner last week in Arkansas, was even par after a 74.
Defending champion So Yeon Ryu shot a 71 and was one over.
Se Ri Pak, the Open winner at Blackwolf Run in 1998, also was one over after a 73.
The only Scot in the field, Catriona Matthew, missed the cut.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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