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Yang’s birdie run puts her in lead; Wie vaults to 12th

  • AP
    Michelle Wie hits off the second tee during the second round of the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament at Lancaster Country Club
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LANCASTER, Pa. >> Amy Yang has experienced success at the U.S. Women’s Open. Now, she wants the ultimate prize.

The 25-year-old South Korean went on a four-birdie run Friday, charging to a three-stroke lead after two rounds at Lancaster Country Club and putting her in position — again — to make a run at her first major championship.

The day started early for 55 players, who resumed their opening round after play was suspended late Thursday due to a powerful storm. The second round ended with the bulk of the field still trying to solve the speedy and sloping greens of the hilly William Flynn layout in the heart of Amish country.

Ultimately, the day belonged to Yang.

She took control on her inward nine with birdies on the 11th, 12th, 13th. She hit her approach to within a foot on No. 14 and punctuated the 4-under-par run. She was at 7-under 133. 

"I just enjoy it out here," Yang said. "And I know the golf courses are very tough; I just enjoy the tough condition of the golf courses."

Stacy Lewis, last year’s runner-up, and Japan’s Shiho Oyama were tied for second at 4-under 136. 

Making a major move up the leaderboard was defending champion Michelle Wie, who shot a 2-under 68 to vault from the back of the pack all the way to a tie for 12th overall. She is now at even-par 140, seven shots back of Yang.

Starting on the back nine, Wie bogeyed her first hole to fall to 3-over. She then carded three  birdies in a four-hole stretch to make the turn at 2-under 33. She then closed the back by going bogey-birdie-birdie-bogey for a 35.

Punahou senior Mariel Galdiano completed her first round Friday (even-par 70) and shot 4-over 74 in her second round and made the cut. 

Yang has had her share of success on the LPGA Tour, earning two victories since turning pro in 2006. But some of her finest golf has been played in the U.S. Open, where she has finished in the top 10 four times in the past five years.

She tied for fifth in 2010, shared 10th place the following year and placed second in 2012. Last year at Pinehurst No. 2, she was third after 36 holes and first after 54 before closing with a 74 and finishing fourth. 

She was paired with Wie in the final round at Pinehurst and believes that experience can only help over the final two rounds.

"It’s better to have that experience than never experience that before," Yang said. "It’s different out there and I know what kind of pressure that is like. It will be tough, but I will be patient and work on it."

Lewis birdied four of eight holes in the middle of her round, but bogeyed her last and settled for a 3-under 67. 

Marina Alex, part of a three-way tie for the lead after one round, carded a 1-over 71 and was in fourth place at 3-under 137. 

Karrie Webb, also first-round co-leader, had a 2-over 72 and was in a large group at 2-under 138. That group includes top-ranked and two-time champion Inbee Park (70), first-round co-leader Jane Park (72) and Michelle Pressel (70).

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