Wie in Contention Annika Six Back

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2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Nicole Perrot, a little-known player from Chile, took the lead at the U.S. Women's Open, but the bigger story is one woman's fading chances for history and a girl's chance at making it.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie has made six birdies and six bogeys through two rounds.
Annika Sorenstam's quest for the single-season Grand Slam took a blow on Friday as she bogeyed her last three holes. She shot a second-round, 4-over 75 and is tied for 22nd place at plus-4.
 
'I thought I played pretty good until the last three holes,' said Sorenstam, a two-time winner of this event. 'Obviously I am disappointed with the finish, but I tried the best I could, and the only thing you can do is keep on trying.'
 
The other story of women's golf is in excellent position heading to the weekend. Fifteen-year-old amateur Michelle Wie carded a 2-over 73 in the second round and is tied for second place with Lorena Ochoa (68) at even-par 142.
 
'It was a little tough out there, the second round today,' said Wie, who finished second to Sorenstam two weeks ago at the LPGA Championship. 'I had very close birdie putts and I didn't make any. If I had made those it would have been a different story, but I am still happy with the way I finished.'
 
What did Sorenstam in on Friday was the putter. Several times she grazed the hole, but in the end, the tour's top player amassed 35 putts in her second round.
 
She was even through her round after eight holes, but dropped a shot at the ninth when her 15-footer failed to fall into the cup. Sorenstam parred her next six holes on the back nine, but ran into trouble late.
 
Sorenstam played consistently on the back nine, but could not make anything. She bogeyed her final three holes to fall six back, but the winner of this year's Nabisco Championship and LPGA Championship does not think her Grand Slam hopes are squashed.
 
'Anything can happen,' said Sorenstam. 'There are birdies out there because I haven't made them so I am going to go out there and find them tomorrow.'
 
Meanwhile, Wie woke up early to complete her weather-delayed opening round. She got off to a rocky start with a bogey at her first hole, No. 10. Wie drove into the right rough and fell short of the putting surface with her second. The 15-year-old chipped to 9 feet and missed the putt.
 
Wie gave herself great looks at birdie from the 11th through 13th, she did not make any of them, but parred those and the remaining holes on her opening nine.
 
She still had not broken into red figures and the round continued to go backward. At the second, Wie missed a 12-footer for par. The wind got her at eight and her 6-iron came up short of the green. Wie chipped 20 feet short and two-putted for another bogey.
 
But Wie recovered at the ninth. She hit a 7-iron inside 2 feet and tapped in for the lone birdie of her round.
 
Wie will play with Perrot in the final round Saturday. Can this 15-year-old amateur, with only one USGA victory to her name, break through in the biggest event in women's golf?
 
'I think so,' replied Wie. 'I feel like I am ready. I feel like I am playing well enough and as long as I make a couple more putts, play a little bit more consistently, if I play under par, I think I have a good chance.'
 
But these superstars will be chasing Perrot, a two-time winner last year on the Futures Tour.
 
She bogeyed the par-5 fifth hole for the second time in as many rounds, but Perrot climbed atop the leaderboard with back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11.
 
Then severe weather hit the area and delayed play for 43 minutes.
 
That hurt Perrot as she landed in a right bunker and made bogey at the 12th. She appeared to be in trouble at the 14th, but holed a clutch 12-footer to save par and stay atop the leaderboard.
 
She parred her remaining holes, now the runner-up at the 2001 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship finds herself atop the leaderboard through two rounds of the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Will it change her strategy?
 
'The golf course is playing really tough,' said Perrot. 'There are two more very tough days. I'm focused on playing shot-by-shot and my routine. I'm not focused about score.'
 
Ochoa moved up thanks to some long putts on the back nine. She holed birdie putts from 10 feet at the 11th, 35 feet at the 15th and 40 feet one hole later.
 
Unfortunately last week's Wegmans Rochester LPGA winner also mixed three bogeys into her back nine, including a dropped shot at the last.
 
'I am extremely happy with my round today. It was tough out there,' said Ochoa.
 
Paula Creamer rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt at the 13th and was 8 under through nine holes. The weather delay really cost her because she went 3 over the rest of the way.
 
Creamer shot a 1-under 69 and shares fourth place with Rachel Hetherington (69) and Angela Stanford (74) at 1-over-par 143.
 
Amateur Morgan Pressel (73) and Karine Icher (75) are knotted in seventh at plus-2.
 
There is a huge group tied for ninth at 3 over par. Among them are: defending champion Meg Mallon, Natalie Gulbis, Cristie Kerr, Se Ri Pak, Liselotte Neumann and Rosie Jones.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 8-over-par 150 and Carin Koch, Stacy Prammanasudh, Pat Hurst, Beth Daniel and Laura Davies all missed out on the weekend.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open