RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.(AP) Michelle Wie shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 on Wednesday in the second round of an LPGA Tour sectional qualifying tournament, putting her in second place in a field of 164.
Displaying the ability that has put her in contention in major championships, Wie birdied five of her final nine holes on the Palmer Course at Mission Hills Country Club to finish at 9-under 135. The 18-year-old Wie was three shots behind South Korea’s Sun-Ju Ahn halfway through the 72-hole competition.
Ahn followed her 6-under 66 in the first round on the Palmer Course with another 66 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course, home of the LPGA’s Kraft Nabisco Championship.
As was the case after the first round, Wie declined requests for media interviews. With 36 holes remaining in the tournament, all on the Shore Course, Wie seems certain to finish among the top 30 players and ties, which would move her into the final qualifying tournament in December for 2009 LPGA Tour exemptions.
Wie’s round on the Palmer Course, considered the easier of the two courses, started solidly with a 34 on the front nine with two birdies and no bogeys. She birdied the 10th, 11th and 12th holes to start her back nine, then added birdies at 14 and 18. Aside from saving par on her first two holes from off the green, Wie never came close to making a bogey.
Stacy Lewis, third in the U.S. Women’s Open this year, shot a 71 on the Shore Course in the second round and easily made the 36-hole cut at 141. The cut for the low 70 players and ties was at 150. Eighty-three players made the cut.
Both Wie and Lewis tried to qualify for the LPGA Tour this year through earnings in their sponsor exemption appearances. But neither earned enough to match 80th place on the tour’s official money list, the level needed for an exemption. Lewis earnings’ in the U.S. Open did not count toward her LPGA Tour earnings.