Michelle Wie takes lead at U.S. Women's Open

Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:51pm EDT
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(Reuters) - American Michelle Wie stamped her authority on the U.S. Women’s Open when she carded a second consecutive two-under-par 68 to vault into the clubhouse lead in Pinehurst, North Carolina, on Friday.

The former child prodigy birdied her final two holes, rolling in a curling 15-footer at the last with her stooped cross-handed putting style to post a four-under 136 halfway total at Pinehurst No. 2.

She was four strokes better than anyone else in the morning half of the field, although first round leader Stacy Lewis had a late tee time after an opening three-under 67.

“Yesterday I was thinking if I just did this again, that would be nice,” Wie told reporters.

“It's a grind out there. (I’m) really grateful for the par putts that I made and some of the birdie putts that I made.”

Wie, 24, has been playing in the Women’s Open since 2003, so she understands that the halfway lead does guarantee anything.

“Being in contention, having the clubhouse lead for now, I'm just really excited for the weekend,” she continued.

“I think the U.S. Open as an American is one of the most important tournaments, but at the same time Sunday is a very, very long time, far away.”

Wie has been in the public eye for more than a decade. In 2004, she came within one stroke of making the cut against the men on the PGA Tour at the Sony Open in Hawaii.   Continued...

Michelle Wie of the U.S. tees off on the third tee during the final round of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic women's golf tournament at the Grey Silo course in Waterloo, June 8, 2014.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch