Wie and Thompson tied for lead at LPGA major

Sat Apr 5, 2014 11:17pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Michelle Wie was in a strong position to win her first major after hitting a four-under-par 68 to share the lead with fellow American Lexi Thompson at the end of the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Saturday.

Back at the Mission Hills course where she almost won her maiden major eight long years ago, the former child prodigy throttled back her powerful swing and notched four birdies on her way to a 10-under 206 total.

If Wie was occasionally a little timid with the putter, so too was teenager Thompson, who might have had the lead outright had she not three-putted the final hole for a 69.

"I just need to not get too nervous (and) just play like the kid I was," Wie told Golf Channel.

Wie and Thompson were two strokes ahead of British teenager Charley Hull and South Korean veteran Pak Se Ri, who shared third place on the leaderboard at the first major of the LPGA season.

Now 24, Wie has been playing in professional tournaments for more than a decade, which makes her a seasoned veteran compared to 19-year-old Thompson.

"I'm one of the older people on the leaderboard," Wie said. "Everything I've been through, I'm more appreciative of where I am right now."

Wie left several putts short at the course in Rancho Mirage, California, including a birdie opportunity from 12-feet at the par-five 18th.

But Thompson also was flawed on the greens, as she showed by bogeying the par-five 18th after missing a five-foot putt.   Continued...

Apr 5, 2014; Rancho Mirage, CA, USA; Michelle Wie looks at the green on the fifth round in the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports