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Wie leads U.S. Women’s Open, Tiger set to return

Weekend Preview – United States Golf Association –69th U.S. Women’s Open –Pinehurst Resort No. 2 – Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina–

Michelle Wie carded back-to-back 68s at Pinehurst No. 2 and leads the 69th U.S. Women’s Open by three shots heading into the weekend.

After three bogeys in round one, she trimmed that to just one bogey Friday in round two. A 16-to-1 betting pick at www.ladbrokes.com coming into the tournament, Wie is looking for her first major title.

To this point, she is handling the pressure of the moment and the course conditions.

Several top contenders are also in the mix including Lexi Thompson, who won her first major earlier this season at the Kraft. Lexi is 1-under and playing alongside Wie at 1:25 p.m. local time as the final pairing.

Rolex Ranking No. 1 Stacy Lewis, who held the overnight lead, slipped back to even par after a second-round 73. She is even and four back of the lead with 36 holes to play.

Na Yeo Choi sits at 1-over in sixth place, while Paula Creamer is 2-over at T-7.

Creamer, a former U.S. Women’s Open champion, snapped a winless draught earlier this season winning the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.

Top amateur thus far is Australia’s Minjee Lee. At Even through 36 holes, she plays with Creamer Saturday at Pinehurst. Lee is 79th in the Rolex Rankings.

Other Golf News:

  • Tiger Woods made big news Friday announcing he is “ready to take the next step” and return to competitive golf following his back surgery in March. Woods is expected to play next week at the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans National in Maryland.
  • Becoming into the U.S. Women’s Open last year, South Koreans had won six of the last eight major championships in women’s golf. Asian-born players also made up seven of the Top 10 players in the Rolex Rankings.
  • Lizette Salas, who won the Kingsmill Championship in May, withdrew from the U.S. Open. She cited food poisoning for the reason. She shot 78 in round one.
  • Scott Langley (11-under) leads the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship at the half way point after a 64-65 start. K.J. Choi is a shot back along with Harris English. Ryan Moore, Dustin Johnson and overnight leader Brendan Steele are all within two strokes.
  • Mikko Ilonen (12-under) continues to lead the European Tour’s Irish Open mid-way through round three. Graeme McDowell and Paul Casey are chasing just a few shots back.