Wie takes charge in U.S. Women’s Open
by MDJ staff and wire reports
June 21, 2014 04:00 AM | 1532 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Michelle Wie eyes a putt with her caddie during Friday’s second round of the U.S. Women’s Open. Wie shot 68 and opened up a three-shot lead over Lexi Thompson.
<BR>Associated Press photo
Michelle Wie eyes a putt with her caddie during Friday’s second round of the U.S. Women’s Open. Wie shot 68 and opened up a three-shot lead over Lexi Thompson.
Associated Press photo
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For all the interest in the men and women playing Pinehurst No. 2 in consecutive weeks, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson made the U.S. Women’s Open more closely resemble the first LPGA Tour major of the year.

Wie held it together with two key par putts and finished with back-to-back birdies for a 2-under 68. Thompson powered her way out of the sand and weeds and ran off three straight birdies to match Wie for the lowest score Friday.

They were the only players still under par going into the weekend, perhaps setting up a rematch from the first major of the year. Thompson soundly beat Wie in the final round at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

For now, Wie had control with a three-shot lead.

The 24-year-old from Hawaii 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.

Stacy Lewis, the No. 1 player in women’s golf who opened with a bogey-free 67, picked up a bogey on her first hole in a wild round of six bogeys, three birdies and a tough 73. Lewis was at even-par with Amy Yang (69) and 18-year-old Australian amateur Minjee Lee (71).

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.

Air Capital Classic: After playing his way into contention in the first round of the Web.com Tour event, Ollie Schniederjans couldn’t keep pace in the second.

The Georgia Tech star and former Harrison High School standout shot 1-over 71 and is now six shots back of leader Aaron Watkins (66).

Schniederjans, the No. 1-ranked amateur making his debut in a professional-level tournament, started on the back nine and struggled from the start, sandwiching an 11th-hole birdie with bogeys on 10 and 13. He then went into the turn with three straight bogeys on 16-18.

Schniederjans gained some ground back with birdies on holes 1-3, but that’s where the progress ended with pars on the remaining six holes.

Travelers Championship: Scott Langley took the second-round lead, following his opening 64 with a 65 to reach 11-under 129.

Winless in two seasons on the PGA Tour, the 25-year-old Langley had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey in the second round at TPC River Highlands.

Michael Putnam, Harris English and K.J. Choi were a stroke back. Putnam had a 63, matching the best round of the day. English shot 64, and Choi 65.

Patrick Rodgers, the former Stanford star making his pro debut, was 5 under after a 69. Cameron Wilson, Rodgers’ college teammate who also was making his pro debut, missed the cut with rounds of 73 and 75.

Defending champion Ken Duke was 3 under after a 72.

Masters champion Bubba Watson, the 2010 Travelers winner for his first PGA Tour title, followed his opening 67 with a 72 to make the cut by a stroke.

Erik Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient who tied for second Sunday in the U.S. Open, missed the cut. He had a 69 in the second round to finish at 3 over.

Encompass Championship: Tom Lehman birdied four straight holes and finished with a bogey-free 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Champions Tour event.

Finishing on the front nine, Lehman birdied Nos. 4-7 and closed with two pars at North Shore Country Club. The 55-year-old Minnesotan nearly holed out for an eagle on the par-5 sixth, leaving a 6-inch putt, and ran in a 15-footer on the par-3 seventh. He won the last of his seven Champions Tour titles in 2012.

Doug Garwood and England’s Roger Chapman were a stroke back at 66, and Mark O’Meara, Sandy Lyle, Jeff Sluman, Michael Allen, Bart Bryant, Kirk Triplett and John Inman shot 67.

Colin Montgomerie, the Senior PGA Championship winner in his last tour start, had a 69.

Irish Open: Finland’s Mikko Ilonen opened a two-stroke lead, while Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy missed the cut by a stroke.

Ilonen had a 3-under 68 to reach 10 under at Fota Island. Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (66), England’s Robert Rock (66) and France’s Romain Wattel (65) were tied for second.

McIlroy followed his opening 74 with a 69.

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