Ochoa was hitting fairways and greens, always a good recipe at this tournament, when she found a fairway bunker on the 14th and had 195 yards to the hole. She figured her caddie wanted her to hit 7-wood, but Ochoa wanted a 5-wood.
"I had a really good feeling," she said. "I said, 'Just trust me, I like this one.' And I hit it perfect."
She heard the crowd cheer when it hit the green, and it got louder as the ball approached the cup, dropping for eagle.
"It was very special," Ochoa said.
A good break turned into a rotten one on the 440-yard 17th, when Ochoa was one shot out of the lead. She hit a 7-wood that jumped out of the rough and sailed over the green. But instead of banging off the grandstand, it shot through the two sets of bleachers, bounding over the pine needles, crossing a small path and settling just beyond the out-of-bounds stakes.
It was a two-stroke penalty, and Ochoa reloaded with a 4-iron just short of the green, getting up-and-down for double bogey.
"A little bit of bad luck," Ochoa said. "But nothing you can do, and I'm really happy with my round."
Pressel was happy when she woke up, reached down to feel her ankle and felt no swelling. She was limping Wednesday from a spider bite, but there was that typical spring in her step at this championship, and she was steady as ever. She recovered from consecutive bogeys early in her round and was right where she wanted to be.
Wie, however, looked as though she wanted to be anywhere but Pine Needles. Even after she rapped in a 2-foot par putt for her 82nd stroke of the round, she barely mustered a smile.
It was similar to the 83 she shot in the third round at the LPGA Championship, where she finished in last place by 10 shots with her highest 72-hole score as an amateur or a pro. She played without a brace on her left wrist, and her injury seemed to be the least of her worries the way she slashed out of the Bermuda rough, often the case from hitting only four fairways.
"All I need is the confidence to play well," she said. "And I just need to see one round where all my shots are where I want them to be. Then after that, it's a done deal. I just need to see it."
But she also seemed to be in denial that her game is in disrepair. It was her 21st consecutive round without breaking par against men or women, and tied her highest score in the U.S. Women's Open. She also shot 82 in the final round at Cherry Hills two years ago.
"It's very frustrating because I know I played better than this," Wie said. "It's just a very fine line between shooting 69 and shooting what I shot today."