[June 21, 2014](Reuters) - Michelle Wie stamped her
authority on the U.S. Women's Open at the halfway stage when she raced
into a three-shot lead over fellow American Lexi Thompson after the
second round in Pinehurst, North Carolina on Friday.
On a day when 11-year-old Lucy Li played respectably but missed
the cut, former child prodigy Wie birdied her final two holes,
rolling in a curling 15-footer at the last with her stooped
cross-handed putting style for a second consecutive two-under-par 68
at Pinehurst No. 2 Course.
She posted a four-under 136 total, while Thompson also shot 68 to
end the day the only other player under par, setting the stage for a
possible battle with Wie for the second successive major.
Thompson won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April, while Wie
finished second after the pair started the final round tied for the
First round leader, American Stacy Lewis, carded 73 to slip four
strokes behind with South Korean Yang Amy (69) and Australian
amateur Minjee Lee (71).
"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 U.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,
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.
Her career stalled for a few years, but this season she is second
behind Lewis on the LPGA money list thanks to a victory and a bunch
of top 10 finishes.