KOHLER, Wis. — Even as she climbed into the lead in the second round of the U.S. Women’s Open on Friday, Suzann Pettersen took some time to admire Michelle Wie’s big move into contention.
Pettersen, the Norwegian star ranked sixth in the world, shot a 4-under 68 at Blackwolf Run on Friday and moved to 5 under for the tournament. But Wie was even better on the day, carding a 6-under 66 to move to 4 under and put herself in position to break out of a season-long slump.
Wie was tied with Cristie Kerr, the 2007 Open winner, one stroke off the lead.
Pettersen was playing in the group directly behind Wie, giving her a pretty good view of what turned out to be an impressive display of accurate approach shots and made putts.
“She was fist-pumping, every putt she looked at,” Pettersen said.
Wie said she doesn’t spend much time thinking about the attention she received as a high-profile child prodigy in the early 2000s, or whether some fans had written her off since then.
“I don’t know if anyone gave up on me or not,” Wie said. “I’m sure some did and some didn’t. But I never gave up on myself, and today was a good reminder to myself that I can do (it) and I still have it.”
Kerr, who was tied for the first-round lead at 3 under with Lizette Salas and Brittany Lincicome, had a 71.
“I always draw on that experience, of course, but it’s hard to predict what’s an advantage and what’s not an advantage,” Kerr said of her previous Open win. “You just don’t know.”
Sandra Gal, Inbee Park and Vicky Hurst shot 70 to reach 3 under.
Salas, a 22-year-old recent Southern California graduate, had a 73 to drop to 2 under. Mika Miyazato also was 2 under after a 71.
Lincicome had a miserable day, shooting an 80 on Friday to fall to 5 over.
“I did nothing right today,” Lincicome said. “I couldn’t drive the ball. I couldn’t do anything right. I couldn’t putt.”
Seventeen-year-old Lexi Thompson shot a 73 to top the group at 1 under.
Wie has missed six of eight cuts this season, although she says she has been feeling better about her game.
“The last couple of weeks it started to feel good,” Wie said. “Things were coming. My scores weren’t showing up as well. But it’s a work in progress. Still a long way to go.”
And Wie knows she’s a long way from a potential victory Sunday, but is excited to have something to shoot for beyond simply making the cut.
“The fact that you’re in contention to have a chance to win the U.S. Open is a big deal,” Wie said. “I’m so grateful I have that chance right now. I’m really looking forward to seeing the crowds tomorrow and experiencing it all again.”
Pettersen, meanwhile, believes her own game is in good shape.
“My game is very solid,” Pettersen said. “My ball striking is good. My short game is good. And my putting has been really good so far.”
Also on Friday:
Simpson leads, Woods misses cut
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — One week after he won for the third time this season, Tiger Woods gets a rare weekend off. Woods missed the cut in the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic by a stroke, following an opening 71 with a 69 to finish at even par. U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson shot a 66 and topped the leaderboard at 9 under when play was suspended because of darkness in the round that was delayed because of rain. Among those still on the course when play was stopped was Martin Flores, who was a stroke back at 8 under with two holes left. Rookie Charlie Beljan (62), Jonathan Byrd (68), Jeff Maggert (68) and Jerry Kelly (66) also were 8 under. Phil Mickelson also failed to advance to weekend play after his second straight 71.
Cook, Kite in front
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — John Cook closed with a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth hole at Del Monte for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead with 62-year-old Tom Kite in the Champions Tour’s First Tee Open. Kite also opened at Del Monte. Mark McNulty, Loren Roberts and Tom Pernice Jr. were a stroke back. They also played at Del Monte. Brad Bryant had the best score of the day at Pebble Beach, shooting a 69.
German grabs lead at French Open
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Germany’s Marcel Siem shot a 3-under 68 in wet and windy conditions at Le Golf National to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the European Tour’s French Open. Sweden’s Alexander Noren was second after a 67.