Wie leads US Open but M.J. Lee contends

American Michelle Wie continued her recent run of form by taking a three shot lead into round three of the US Women's Open at Pinehurst No 2.

Wie's powerful game, which allows her to control and spin the ball perhaps more than any other female golfer, has assisted her in negotiating the demanding Pinehurst layout and in her current form she appears the likely contender for the title on Sunday.

Wie added a second consecutive round of 68 to move past the overnight leader Stacy Lewis and into that three shot lead over Lexi Thompson with world number one, Lewis, Korean, Amy Yang, and West Australian and world number one amateur Minjee Lee, one shot further back.

Wie was excited but cautious about her chances for the weekend. "You never really know at U.S. Opens," she said. "I'm just going to go out there and have fun. I'm really grateful for the opportunity that I have. Being in contention, having the clubhouse lead for now, I'm just really excited for the weekend. I'm really excited that

I have chance and I'm going to have a lot of fun this weekend.

"It's definitely one of the Majors that I really want to win. 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. Just take it shot by shot.

"You really can't think about Sunday, 18th hole, now. You have 36 holes to play. So I'm just going to go out there and just try and do what I did the last two days and just focus on every shot and try not to think too much about the past or the future, just really try to stay in the present.

"Pinehurst is awesome. Just playing here, playing, seeing all the history and the golf course is great. I love the way the USGA set it up. It's a great golf course. I feel like we're making history this year playing at Pinehurst, same stage as the men. I just was very excited watching the men play on Sunday and just to kind of see what they hit and kind of try to do the same things, it's a lot of fun. It's great."

Lee, the winner of the last two Australian Amateur Championships and a player many think could go on to become one of Australia's best ever, was happy to see her tee to green game improve.

"I hit it better today. But my -- I didn't putt as good as yesterday. So when I was trying to make up-and-downs it was a little bit more harder. But I'm happy with my 1-over. I think that the pins are playing pretty tough, although some of the tees are up today and you can drive one of the par-4s. But I think that the pins are playing pretty tough.

When asked if she thought she had what it took to win LPGA events Lee responded, "I think so. Well, I was quite close at the Aussie Open the beginning of the year and a couple of the other tournaments beginning of the year, so, yeah, I think I have the ability to contend and I think in the future I'll be able to win some tournaments."

Lee also acknowledged the help she had received through Karrie Webb. "I got the chance to stay with her at the U.S. Open last year. I got to watch with one of my friends who also won the Karrie Webb Series Scholarship. So, yeah, we got to spend a week with her at the Open, which was priceless. It's like the best experience ever. So, yeah, it was good last year."

Webb, herself, started her second round slowly and through ten holes she was four over for the day and the tournament. She fought back but a bogey at her last hole, the par three 9th when coming up short with her approach, left her at 3 over and although seven shots from Wie she is still very much in the picture.

Katherine Kirk is in 22nd position and Nikki Campbell was the only other Australian to make the cut when she finished on the cut score of 9 over.

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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