PHOENIX – Michelle Wie had a wild day with a putter that ran both hot and cold but still helped her get into contention.
Wie made a 40-footer for birdie at the first hole, and she made another 40-footer for birdie at the 13th. She lipped out a couple of other long putts and in between all of that she missed a pair of 4-footers, one for par and one for birdie.
It added up to a 5-under-par 67, leaving Wie three shots off the lead.
“I’m just so excited to be in this position, that I have a chance,” Wie said. “It’s just fun being in contention. So, I’m just going to make the most of it tomorrow and go out there and enjoy myself.”
Wie, seeking her third LPGA title, her first since the 2010 Canadian Women’s Open, is off to a strong start this season. She played in the final pairing at the Honda LPGA Thailand last month, finishing fourth. She tied for ninth in her last start, the HSBC Women’s Champions.
Wie’s ball-striking was solid Saturday. She hit 13 of 14 fairways, gearing down off the tee on a course that doesn’t really allow her to hit a lot of drivers. She hit 16 greens but took 30 putts.
“I didn’t really put anything close to the hole,” she said.