Honolulu’s Michelle Wie is on track to go back-to-back if today’s second round of the P&G NW Arkansas Championship played in Rogers, Ark., is any indication.
Coming off a win at the Canadian Open two weeks ago and flirting with a 59 early on, Wie shot a 7-under 64 for a 36-hole total of 10-under 132 and the lead. Wie began the day tied for fifth, two shots behind 18-hole leader Morgan Pressel (72—138).
The Stanford University student is three shots clear of Na Yeon Choi (68), Yani Tseng (68) and Julie Inkster (66). Janice Moodie (69), Paige Mackenzie (65) and Seon Hwa Lee (65) are another two back, tied for sixth at 5-under 137.
Starting on the back nine with a birdie at the 10th, Wie managed four more and then rolled in a 40-footer for eagle at the 18th (her ninth) en route to a 28, missing the women’s tour record of 27 by one shot.
The Punahou product parred the first hole and birdied the par-5 second where she carded her first bogey of the tournament yesterday. She just missed holing out from 100 yards — having done so already for birdie at the 12th (her third hole) — settling for a tap-in birdie 4. Wie parred the third, her 12th, but faced a bit of trouble at the par-4 fourth where she failed to get up and down from the bunker, lipping out a 9-footer for par.
The Stanford University student remained even on her back nine with a par at the fifth. She got into trouble again with a wayward hybrid at the par-3 sixth, landing in the bunker guarding the right side of the green. Once again, she failed to get up and down, missing from 12 feet for par.
A birdie at the par-5 seventh from 4 feet helped ease the pain somewhat. Wie played the par-5s today in 5 under after shooting 1 over on the same four holes yesterday.
She just missed her ninth one-putt of the round at No. 8, settling for a tap-in par. Wie parred the ninth as well to equal the best round of her professional career.
Through 36 holes, she has hit 18 of 28 fairways and 30 greens in regulation. Thanks to eight one-putts, Wie has 57 with the flat stick through two rounds. She is averaging 273.25 yards off the tee.