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Michelle Wie shares second-round lead in Hawaii

Teenager is in position for her first victory. Angela Stanford is tied with Wie at eight under.

February 14, 2009|Associated Press

Michelle Wie put herself into contention for her first LPGA Tour victory, shooting a two-under-par 70 in difficult conditions Friday in the second round of the season-opening SBS Open at Kahuku, Hawaii.

Making her debut as an LPGA card-carrying member, Wie used a three-birdie run to surge to the top of the leaderboard and finish at eight-under 136, where she was tied with Angela Stanford (71) heading into today's final round.

"It feels good," Wie said of being in contention again. She will be in the final group for the first time since the 2006 Evian Ladies Masters, where she tied for second and picked up her biggest tour paycheck of her career.

Wie said she couldn't remember the last time she led going into the final day. It was at the 2006 U.S. Women's Open, where she was tied with Annika Sorenstam and Brittany Lincicome. Wie finished tied for third, two strokes out of the playoff.

She said winning would be "great," but won't get ahead of herself. She hasn't hoisted a trophy since claiming the USGA Women's Amateur Public Links Championship at age 13 to become the youngest USGA champion in history.

"I just don't want to get that ingrained in my head just yet," she said. "I feel like everyone has been asking me that, and there's still a day left. I just want to do the same thing and play as hard as I can."

The 19-year-old LPGA rookie is seeking her first title in her 49th start on tour. She's also looking to put her past struggles behind her.

"I'm starting with a clean slate," she said. "I earned my way here. I'm a rookie. And I've been through a lot, so I'm just going to start fresh, start new and just have a great year."

Stanford, the first-round leader, began the day at seven under and quickly caught Wie for the lead by birdieing the par-five third hole before running off 15 pars for her second bogey-free round.

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Champions Tour

Jerry Pate and Bernhard Langer shared the lead at eight-under 64 after the first round of the Allianz Championships at Boca Raton, Fla.

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