PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — For all the interest in the men and women playing Pinehurst No. 2 in consecutive weeks, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson made the U.S. Women’s Open more closely resemble the first LPGA Tour major of the year.
Wie held it together with two key par putts and finished with back-to-back birdies for a 2-under 68. Thompson powered her way out of the sand and weeds and ran off three straight birdies to match Wie for the lowest score Friday.
They were the only players still under par going into the weekend, perhaps setting up a rematch from the first major of the year. Thompson soundly beat Wie in the final round at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
For now, Wie had control with a three-shot lead.
The 24-year-old from Hawaii twice thought her shots were going off the turtleback greens, and twice she relied on her table-top putting stance to make long par saves. She finished with a 6-iron that set up a 12-foot birdie putt, and a 15-foot birdie on the par-5 ninth to reach 4-under 136.
Stacy Lewis, the No. 1 player in women’s golf who opened with a bogey-free 67, picked up a bogey on her first hole in a wild round of six bogeys, three birdies and a tough 73. Lewis was at even-par with Amy Yang (69) and 18-year-old Australian amateur Minjee Lee (71).
Lucy Li, the precocious 11-year-old and youngest qualifier in the history of the U.S. Women’s Open, isn’t leaving town until Monday. She just won’t be playing any more golf. The sixth-grader from the Bay Area started with a double bogey for the second straight day and shot another 78 to miss the cut.
CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Scott Langley took the second-round lead in the Travelers Championship, following his opening 64 with a 65 to reach 11 under 129.
Winless in two seasons on the PGA Tour, the 25-year-old Langley had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey in the second round at TPC River Highlands.
Michael Putnam, Harris English and K.J. Choi were a stroke back. Putnam had a 63, matching the best round of the day. English shot 64, and Choi 65.
Patrick Rodgers, the former Stanford star making his pro debut, was 5 under after a 69. Cameron Wilson, Rodgers’ college teammate who also was making his pro debut, missed the cut with rounds of 73 and 75.
Defending champion Ken Duke was 3 under after a 72.
Masters champion Bubba Watson, the 2010 Travelers winner for his first PGA Tour title, followed his opening 67 with a 72 to make the cut by a stroke.
Erik Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient who tied for second Sunday in the U.S. Open, missed the cut. He had a 69 in the second round to finish at 3 over.
GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Tom Lehman birdied four straight holes and finished with a bogey-free 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Encompass Championship.
Finishing on the front nine, Lehman birdied Nos. 4-7 and closed with two pars at North Shore Country Club. The 55-year-old Minnesotan nearly holed out for an eagle on the par-5 sixth, leaving a 6-inch putt, and ran in a 15-footer on the par-3 seventh. He won the last of his seven Champions Tour titles in 2012.
Doug Garwood and England’s Roger Chapman were a stroke back at 66, and Mark O’Meara, Sandy Lyle, Jeff Sluman, Michael Allen, Bart Bryant, Kirk Triplett and John Inman shot 67.
Colin Montgomerie, the Senior PGA Championship winner in his last tour start, had a 69.
CORK, Ireland (AP) — Finland’s Mikko Ilonen opened a two-stroke lead in the Irish Open, while Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy missed the cut by a stroke.
Ilonen had a 3-under 68 to reach 10 under at Fota Island. Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (66), England’s Robert Rock (66) and France’s Romain Wattel (65) were tied for second.
McIlroy followed his opening 74 with a 69.