Hurst Leads Wie in Contention

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McDonaldHAVRE DE GRACE, Md. -- Pat Hurst will hold a two-shot lead when second-round play at the LPGA Championship resumes Saturday morning.
 
The big story on Friday was bad weather, with strong storms forcing a five-hour and four-minute afternoon weather delay at Bulle Rock Golf Course.
 
Players resumed their rounds just before 6:30 p.m. ET but were forced off the course again when sirens sounded the suspension of play less than two hours later.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie finished runner-up in this event a year ago.
Hurst is through 10 holes of her second round at 8 under par, and when play resumes at 8 a.m. on Saturday she will be looking to stave off a charge from Christina Kim.
 
Kim is done nine holes at minus-6 and is tied with Dorothy Delasin for second place. Delasin, the clubhouse leader, shot a 1-under 71 and stands at 6-under-par 138.
 
Michelle Wie followed up her opening-round 71 with a 4-under 68 to move into a tie for fourth place at 5-under-par 139 with Nicole Castrale (75), Mi Hyun Kim (71) and Shi Hyun Ahn (70).
 
Four days removed from her failed attempt to qualify for the men's U.S. Open, Wie looked like an old pro in her second LPGA Championship. The 16-year-old carded five birdies with just one dropped shot.
 
'If I keep on playing lower every day, I'll be fine. Don't you think?' laughed Wie, who finished runner-up to Annika Sorenstam last year.
 
Sorenstam, the three-time defending champion and top-ranked player in the world, is 2 under through eight holes in her second round.
 
Once the bad weather passed, she was among the players who took advantage of good twilight weather with a birdie at the par-3 seventh.
 
'It was a long break [but] I think we took advantage of the opportunity to go out there and score a little bit,' said Sorenstam, who opened with a 71 on Thursday.
 
Among the players who finished their rounds, Wie and Sung Ah Yim (tied for eighth, minus-4) carded the lowest scores of the day with 68s.
 
Beginning on the back nine, Wie opened with a birdie after knocking her second shot within three feet at the par-4 10th. She rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at 15, gave a shot back with a missed 7-footer at 17, and then made the turn at 3 under after collecting a birdie at the par-4 18th.
 
Wie went pin-seeking on her first two holes on the front nine, knocking approaches within 12 and three feet to set up birdies and reach minus-5.
 
At the par-4 ninth, she nearly chipped-in for birdie, but settled for par to finish off her 68.
 
Wie's score is one shot better than where she was after two rounds last year when she was still playing as an amateur. Not bad for someone who was 2 over par with four holes to play in her first round.
 
'I really used the momentum from the last four holes yesterday and I'm feeling like I'm playing really well,' said Wie, who collected three birdies from the 15th on Thursday.
 
Clubhouse leader Delasin began her round on the back nine in a group with Wie and was as low as 10 under after four consecutive birdies from the 17th.
 
But a bogey at the par-3 third and a double-bogey at the sixth -- where she pulled her tee shot into the woods -- knocked Delasin out of the lead. She also bogeyed the par-5 eighth to finish her final seven holes at 4 over.
 
'I was just going along, doing my own business and having fun,' Delasin said, responding to a question about having, and then losing, the lead.
 
Delasin experienced the large crowds that have typically followed Wie wherever she plays -- but it left her unfazed.
 
'I didn't really mind it. It wasn't a big deal,' Delasin admitted. 'It was great having crowds. I think I should play with her (Wie) more often.'
 
Hurst, who collected three birdies with just one bogey Friday, will begin with a tough tee shot at the par-5 second hole on Saturday. She was in a similar position following the lengthy rain delay, when she had to restart with a difficult drive at the par-4 13th.
 
'I wish I could have hit that tee ball,' Hurst sighed.
 
Among the other notables hanging around in the top 10 are reigning Kraft Nabisco Championship winner and 2001 LPGA champion Karrie Webb and Cristie Kerr, who are tied for eighth place at minus-four.
 
Webb, who won the 2001 LPGA Championship, shot a 2-under 70.
 
Kerr, one of the best players in the world to have never won a major championship, struggled to a 2-over 74 in her second round.
 
World No. 2 Lorena Ochoa is also 4 under through nine holes.
 
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