After an up-and-down third round, Michelle Wie surrendered the three-shot lead she began the day with and instead, her 2-over 72 has her in a tie for the lead with Amy Yang through 54 holes at the U.S. Women’s Open. Here’s how things look after three days at Pinehurst No. 2:
Leaderboard: Michelle Wie (-2); Amy Yang (-2); Juli Inkster (+2); Stephanie Meadow (+2); Na Yeon Choi (+2); Minjee Lee (+2)
What it means: Wie opened her third round with a bogey, but then posted birdies at the third, ninth and tenth holes to get to 6 under and extend her lead to five at the time. A double and two bogeys followed, allowing the field back into the mix. Despite back-nine struggles, Wie maintained her composure and made par on her final four holes to stay in the mix, showing patience and maturity.
Best of the rest: Juli Inkster shot the round of the day Saturday – a 4-under 66 moved her into a tie for third, giving Inkster a chance to make her 35th and final U.S. Women’s Open memorable. Inkster, who turns 54 on Tuesday, says this will be her last appearance in the championship.
Biggest disappointment: Lexi Thompson had gotten within one shot of playing partner Michelle Wie before making two double bogeys in a row - at Nos. 8 and 9 - to drop five shots back. Thompson eventually settled on a 3-over 73 and is in a tie for seventh through 54 holes.
Quote of the day: “System got a little overheated.” – Wie, on struggling after making the turn Saturday at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Main storyline heading into Sunday: Can Wie hang on and win her first major championship? Wie finished runner-up in the year's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, before winning the following week at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii for her first victory in four years. Dating back to the Kraft Nabisco, she's finished in the top 10 in six of her last seven events. Her best finish in the U.S. Open was a T-3 at Newport Country Club in 2006, when she was 16. Wie was the 54-hole leader at the 2005 and 2006 U.S. Women’s Opens; she posted a final-round 82 to fall into tie for 23rd (2005) and a final-round 73 to finish one shot back and in a tie for third (2006).