Michelle Wie leads in bid for second-straight win at NW Arkansas Championship

Michelle Wie leads in bid for second-straight win at NW Arkansas Championship

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Michelle Wie strikes an iron shot at the NW Arkansas Championship on Saturday.
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ROGERS, Ark. — Michelle Wie shot her second straight 5-under 66 on Saturday to take a two-shot lead in the suspended second round of the NW Arkansas Championship.

Coming off a victory Sunday in the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst, Wie had six birdies and a bogey in her morning round at Pinnacle Country Club.

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So Yeon Ryu, paired with Wie, was second after her second-straight 67.

All 72 players in the afternoon session were unable to finish because of thunderstorms.

Suzann Pettersen, Chella Choi and Line Vedel were three strokes back, and top-ranked and local favorite Stacy Lewis was four shots behind at 6 under.

Pettersen had a 67, Choi shot 65, and Vedel had five holes left.

Lewis birdied four of her first eight holes and finished with a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 9 for a 67. First-round leader Alena Sharp was 4 under overall after 15 holes.

Lewis made the early charge Saturday to close within a shot of Sharp, much to the delight of the pro-Arkansas crowd — where Lewis played collegiately.

For the second straight day, however, Wie saved her best for the back.

She jumped into contention with a 4-under 31 on the back nine on Friday. After teeing off on the back nine Saturday, she once again closed with a flurry — birdieing four of her final seven holes to shoot a 4-under 32 and surge into the lead.

Wie put the finishing touch on her round — and quest for a second-straight tournament victory — with a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 9.

Wie held off Lewis by a shot to win her first major title in the U.S Women's Open. Playing a group behind Lewis on Saturday, Wie bogeyed her second hole, No. 11, and recovered with a birdie on the par-5 14th.

She followed that with a second straight birdie on a par 5, getting up and down off the fringe on No. 18 to reach 6 under. Her birdie spree followed on the front nine, with large galleries following both Lewis and Wie.

Lewis followed a sluggish first round in which she putted 31 times by needing only 24 putts on Saturday. She stumbled with a bogey out of the greenside bunker on the par-3 fourth hole before recovering with birdies on No. 5 and 9.

The players are expected to finish the second round early Sunday before the final round begins later in the morning.

 


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