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Wie, Pressel move closer to lead at CME Group Tour Championship

Second Round — LPGA Tour — CME Group Tour Championship — Tiburon Golf Club — Naples, Florida —

Americans Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie made a run at the lead Friday in round two of the CME Group Tour Championship, but they trail Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Paraguay’s Julieta Granada at the season-ending finale on the LPGA Tour.

Ciganda (7-under) posted a 5-under-67 to move into a tie for the lead with overnight leader Granada at Greg Norman-designed Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida. Both Granada and Ciganda, sitting 66th in the Rolex Ranking, entered the week as a 125-to-1 long shot betting selections at www.ladbrokes.com.

For Pressel, she shot 66 to climb 20 places up the leader board. The 80-1 betting pick led after 18 holes in Japan earlier this month at the Mizuno Classic. Pressel is alone in third at 6-under overall and just a shot back.

Wie, the U.S. Women’s Open champion, made four birdies and an eagle against a lone bogey in two day action. Wie’s lone bogey was a six at Wie sits T-4 heading into the weekend in Naplesthe par-5 first hole. She is 5-under alongside Sandra Gal in a tie for third place heading into the weekend.

Lydia Ko is T-10 at 2-under and five back of the leaders, while Race to the CME Globe standings leader Stacy Lewis struggled to a 74. She is T-15 after 36 holes, while Rolex Ranking No. 1 Inbee Park also slipped back with a 74. Park, who has just three birdies in two rounds, is T-37.

Ciganda placed T-12 in Malaysia back in mid-October on the LPGA Tour and was 13th at the Wegman’s earlier this year. Her best finish on tour is a runner-up last year at the North Texas LPGA Shootout.

For Granada, she is 48th in the Rolex ranking. The one-time LPGA Tour champ has a pair of 5th-place finishes this season including in Thailand earlier this year and at the RICOH Women’s British Open.

Look for Pressel and Wie to continue to press the inexperienced Ciganda. Granada is a wild-card having her best season in years with seven Top 10s.

Gal is still in the hunt. She finished fourth here last year just three back of eventual champion Shanshan Feng. Gal opened at the event with a 64 in 2013, so she has the ability to post a low score on Moving Day Saturday.

Other Golf News:

  • Adam Scott, 2nd in the Official World Golf Ranking, is T-12 through two rounds at the Beteasy Australian Masters in Melbourne. Scott is trying to the title for the third consecutive season.
  • Henrik Stenson moved ahead of World No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai with a second-round 66. At 10-under, Stenson is two shots clear of Rory making his first start in nearly two months. Stenson is the defending champion in Dubai.
  • Long hitting Americans Lexi Thompson and Brittany Lincicome are tied for 12th in Naples at the CME Group Tour Championship. First prize at the event is $500,000, while the Race to the CME Globe champion earns $1 million.