The Wait is Over as Third Round Underway

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2007 U.S. WomenSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Angela Park shot a 69 to finish at 5-under 137 and take a two-stroke lead Saturday over three others after two rounds at the U.S. Women's Open, where Michelle Wie withdrew with a lingering wrist injury.
 
Park, whose opening-round 68 was best in the field at Pine Needles, saved par with a 30-foot putt on No. 18 and secured the lead over Amy Hung, Jiyai Shin and Julieta Granada heading into the third round, which officials hoped to start later in the afternoon.
 
'My caddie told me I spent the least amount of time reading that putt out of all the putts today,' Park said. 'I hit it and it went in, so keep it simple.'
 
The 18-year-old LPGA Tour rookie -- who was 3 under after the first round and didn't take a shot Friday because of weather delays and a late start time -- continued to establish herself as a legitimate contender in a tournament previously dominated by thunder, lightning and Wie's abrupt withdrawal.
 
Wie, who shot a first-round 82, was at 6 over through the back nine when she sent her tee shot on No. 1 into the left rough. Immediately after striking her second shot, she approached USGA personnel and walked off the course.
 
'I just kind of woke up, and it was really sore,' Wie said of her left wrist. 'But it was OK. It held up. ... I tweaked it. And then after that it kind of went downhill. I don't remember hurting this much again.'
 
Morgan Pressel was at 3 under at one point before bogeying two of her final four holes, including one that followed a poor tee shot on No. 18 to finish with a 70, four strokes behind the leader.
 
'I didn't really have too many opportunities to mess up out there, and I certainly had more birdie opportunities that I could have converted,' Pressel said.
 
The player who supplanted Pressel as the youngest qualifier in Open history -- 12-year-old Alexis Thompson -- finished the final five holes of her round, with two bogeys and a double-bogey putting her at 16 over.
 
'I saw what I have to be, what my game has to be like, what has to be good in my game, my short game if you miss the green,' Thompson said. 'So I'm going to work on that -- I'm going to work on everything -- but it was an awesome experience.'
 
It wasn't that way for a former Women's Open champion at Pine Needles.
 
Karrie Webb, the 2001 champion who opened with an 83 for the worst score of her career, offset consecutive birdies with a double-bogey on No. 10 to finish 12 over and well beyond the projected cut of 6 over.
 
'I got into a bit of a funk, then I didn't swing it well,' Webb said.
 
Meanwhile, 1996 winner Annika Sorenstam finished her second round at 5 over with a par on No. 9.
 
And, as the case has been all week, the threat of severe weather continued to loom large, with organizers mapping out contingency plans for Monday and hoping to avoid a third straight day of delays.
 
'This area has gone for weeks on end without any kind of weather,' said Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director of rules and competition. 'And bring the USGA to town, and it's amazing how we can change weather patterns.'
 
Just ask Janice Moodie.
 
She didn't bother with a caddie Saturday morning to complete her second round. The Scot was less than 3 inches from closing her round Friday when lightning threatened and the horn abruptly sounded to stop play.
 
So after daybreak she returned to the 18th green with only her putter, tapped in a gimme putt to finish her 76 -- then turned around and went back home.
 
'I think I might have squeezed it (Friday) if we had just gone ahead,' Moodie said. 'It's just one of those things, isn't it? The horn's got to be blowing sometime. It just happens to be when I'm doing my first putt.'
 
It's been that kind of week so far at Pine Needles, where Mother Nature has dominated the field.
 
With threats of thunder and lightning during the first two days, some players were left to spend more time with pool cues and pingpong paddles in the clubhouse rather than putters on the practice green.
 
'This tournament is just a championship of patience,' Pressel said.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open