LPGA Tour

Wie grabs 3-shot lead at U.S. Women's Open

Pinehurst, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Michelle Wie carded her second straight 2- under 68 on Friday and that helped her move three strokes clear of the field after two rounds of the U.S. Women's Open Championship.

Wie, who won the LPGA LOTTE Championship earlier this year, ended 36 holes at 4-under-par 136.

"End of the day yesterday, I was thinking if I just did this again, that would be nice. But finishing with two birdies is always great. It's a grind out there. It's not easy," Wie said. "Really grateful for the par putts that I made and some of the birdie putts that I made."

Lexi Thompson, who beat Wie for the season's first major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, also posted a 68 in round two. Thompson stands at 1-under 139 and is the final player in red figures after two rounds.

First-round leader and women's world No. 1 Stacy Lewis stumbled to a 3-over 73. She fell into a share of third place at even-par 140 at Pinehurst No. 2. Lewis was joined there by Amy Yang (69) and Minjee Lee (71). Lee is the top- ranked female amateur in the world.

Na Yeon Choi, the 2012 champion, managed an even-par 70 and is alone in sixth place at 1-over-par 141. Paula Creamer, the 2010 winner, shot 2-over 72 and headlines a group of three players at plus-2.

Defending champion Inbee Park posted a 1-over 71. She finished 36 holes at 7- over-par 147.

Thompson and Wie were tied entering the final round of the Kraft Nabisco back in April. Thompson closed with a 68 to beat Wie by three and become the second youngest major champion in LPGA Tour history.

Wie hopes to reverse that outcome this week. She played in the morning wave and opened with eight straight pars from the 10th. Wie drained a birdie try from about 10 feet out on the 18th, but gave that stroke right back with a bogey on the first.

"I had eight pars, and I felt on some other golf courses I would be mad at that point. I was very happy that I had eight pars," Wie admitted. "Pars are great on this golf course. I'll take a par any day on this golf course."

After six pars in a row, Wie drained a 7-foot birdie chance on the eighth to move to minus-3. She made it two in a row as her left-to-right breaking birdie putt on the ninth found the bottom of the cup.

"I think my caddie and I did a great job today. Even if I left myself 50-foot putts for birdie. We just played it safe on a lot of holes, where you just can't really go for the pins," Wie explained. "I think we did a good job of being aggressive and playing it safe. Course management was definitely working today."

Thompson, like Wie, played the back nine first on Friday. She also opened with eight pars in a row, but Thompson's streak ended with a bogey on No. 18.

That dropped her to plus-2 for the championship. After a pair or pars to start her second nine, Thompson birdied the third and fourth. Her second to the par-5 fifth stopped just off the green, and Thompson 2-putted for her third birdie in a row.

The Kraft Nabisco winner parred the final four holes to end three behind Wie.

"Today went very well for me. I just stayed within one shot at a time and did my routine and had fun in between shots," said Thompson. "I didn't really get stressed out about the bad shots, just went to the next one, go find it and I think that's all about U.S. Women's Opens, you just have to stay patient and there was a few birdie holes on back nine for me, on my second nine. So I knew I could make a few birdies there."

Lucy Li, the 11-year-old amateur who qualified for this championship, shot 8- over 78 for the second straight round. She had a triple-bogey, a double-bogey, five bogeys and two birdies in her second round. She missed the cut by seven strokes.

NOTES: Wie is looking for her fourth LPGA Tour title and first major championship win ... Along with Lee, three other amateurs made the cut -- Brooke Henderson (plus-4), Mathilda Cappeliez (plus-6), Chisato Hashimoto (76) and Andrea Lee (70) ... Lizette Salas withdrew before her second round due to food poisoning and Jane Park withdrew during round two with a back injury ... The cut line fell at 9-over 149 with 71 player moving on to the weekend ... Among those that missed the cut were 2007 champion Cristie Kerr, Anna Nordqvist, Jessica Korda, 2005 runner-up Morgan Pressel, 2010 runner-up Suzann Pettersen, Ai Miyazato, Cheyenne Woods, 1987 winner Laura Davies and Natalie Gulbis.

06/20 21:41:33 ET

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