Granada, Ciganda share CME lead; Wie 2 back


The winds were whipping Friday in Naples, but many of the best women in the world were still able to tame Tiburon Golf Club. Here's how things look after two rounds of the CME Group Tour Championship, where Julieta Granada shares the lead with Carlota Ciganda:

Leaderboard: Julieta Granada (-7), Carlota Ciganda (-7), Morgan Pressel (-6), Michelle Wie (-5), Sandra Gal (-5), Sarah Jane Smith (-5), So Yeon Ryu (-4), Chella Choi (-4)

What it means: Granada held the overnight lead and remained in front after a 1-under 71, although she was joined by Ciganda, a member of the victorious European Solheim Cup squad last year. While some of the game's top names faltered, Pressel and Wie moved within striking distance after carding low rounds, each hoping to cap a strong LPGA season for Americans with another U.S. victory.

Round of the day: Pressel hasn't won on the LPGA Tour since 2008, but she surged into contention Friday with a 6-under 66. Despite windy conditions, Pressel made it around Tiburon without dropping a shot and carded six birdies, including circles on each of the four par 5s.

Best of the rest: Like Pressel, Ciganda was bogey-free during the second round and the Spaniard made the most of the middle of her round. Ciganda's five birdies all came between Nos. 5-13, and after a 67 she now shares the lead as she looks for her first LPGA win.

Biggest disappointment: Stacy Lewis is still projected to win the season-long Race to the CME Globe, but she did herself no favors with a 2-over 74 Friday that dropped her six shots off the pace. Lewis struggled with accuracy all day, hitting only six of 18 greens in regulation, and her lone birdie came when she chipped in from in front of the green on No. 17.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: The final group will be relatively inexperienced and with only one victory between them, as Granada's lone win came in the form of a seven-figure payday in 2006. The chase pack is close behind, including Wie, who is looking for her third win of the year and who still has a realistic chance to capture the $1 million bonus on top of the $500,000 winner's check.

Shot of the day: Wie had one of the better rounds of the day with a 5-under 67, and the highlight came on the par-4 seventh when her 9-iron approach found the hole for an unexpected eagle. It capped a five-hole stretch in which she was 4 under.

Quote of the day: "I'd be lying if I said they weren't in my head. It's up there, you're thinking about it." - Lewis, on dealing with the possibility of winning the $1 million Race to the CME Group.