Michelle Wie tied for US Women's Open lead, seeks first major
It feels like Michelle Wie has been around forever but she still doesn't have that elusive first major.
Maybe this is the magic we thought Pinehurst No. 2 would provide last week with the men at their US Open. Instead, it's the US Women's Open that's stealing the show.
The 11-year-old Lucy Li won the first half of the week, Juli Inkster at age 53 is looking to become the oldest major winner ever (men or women) and Michelle Wie, perpetually the poster child for women's golf, is looking for major No. 1 of her career.
Wie has been close before -- she has top-three finishes at four of the five majors including a runner-up at the first major of 2014 -- but she hasn't been this tantalizingly close at a US Women's Open since back in 2006 when she finished third.
Wie shot a 2-over 72 on Saturday and though she lost her three-stroke lead still sits at 2 under for the tournament, tied with Amy Yang and four clear of four other golfers (including Inkster).
It almost got away from her at the end. She started the back nine birdie-double bogey-bogey-par-bogey before making four pars on the way in for a back side of 38.
"Obviously there were a couple of shots I wanted back, and I felt I could do better, but at the same time I really grinded out there and I tried my best," Wie said. "I'm happy with that."
A Wie win on Sunday would solidify this season as a superior one for the women to the men -- and if you haven't been paying attention, you should be.
Between Wie's resurgance, the Lydia Ko storyline, and all the duels between superstars in big tournaments, the women have played a far more intriguing year to date than the men have (enter: Woods, Tiger).
And it would solidify Wie's windy road from teenage superstar to almost-bust (she dropped to No. 238 in the world in 2008) to full-fledged star on the LPGA Tour. She's currently ranked No. 11 in the world and playing like she has few cares in life other than being great at golf.
"I think that I'm really grateful that I have another opportunity at this," Wie said. "I also feel like as an American I just feel very proud that I'm in contention. And I will play with pride tomorrow. And I'm going to have fun."
It's clear she's being honest about that last part. With the hype going to another young phenom (Li) all week, Wie has thrived at Pinehurst's most famous course.
"Who knows what will happen," Wie said. "But at the end of the day I'm going to go out there and try my hardest and see what I can do."
And that's the beauty of a US Open -- nobody has any idea what will happen.
Sunday should be riveting.
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