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Wie (66) continues strong start to season

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PHOENIX – Michelle Wie continued her strong start to the new season.

With a 6-under-par 66 Thursday, Wie got herself in contention at the JTBC Founders Cup. She’s tied for third, just two shots behind rookie Mirim Lee.

Wie is coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes. She tied for ninth in her last start, the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. She finished fourth in her start before that at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Wie said she was inspired Thursday playing alongside Rolex world No. 2 Suzann Pettersen (68) and Hall of Famer Karrie Webb (66).

“Two of my favorite people,” Wie said. “I look up to both of them, and I just made a lot of birdies out there.”

Wie is taming her driver again. She’s hitting it with confidence again, and it appears to be filtering through the rest of her game.

“I hit a lot of wedges in today,” Wie said. “A lot of wedges.”

It was the short game that jump-started Wie in the first round. She chipped in for eagle at the fifth hole.