PINEHURST –- Michelle Wie steadied herself with pars over the last four holes on a wild Saturday in the US Women's Open, leaving the former teen prodigy from Hawaii one round away from winning her first major.
Wie made back-to-back birdies to build a four-shot lead, only to give it all back with drives all over Pinehurst No. 2. She salvaged a 2-over 72 for a share of the lead with Amy Yang, who didn't make a par until the eighth hole in her roller-coaster round of 68.
They were at 2-under 208, the only two players still under par on a Pinehurst No. 2 course that was crispy and brittle. The USGA set the course up relative to what the men faced last Saturday in the US Open – short but tough because of the pin positions.
''It's tough out there,'' Wie said. ''My system got a little overheated. You can't be in the trees here. But I felt like I grinded out there.''
The big surprise was the tournament-best 66 from Juli Inkster, the 53-year-old Hall of Famer who has said this will be her 35th and final U.S. Women's Open.
Inkster, who hasn't made the cut in this championship in five years, was tied for third just four shots behind. She will be in the penultimate group, though a long shot to become the oldest LPGA major champion by 10 years.
''You can think and you can dream all you want,'' Inkster said. ''But the bottom line is you've got to come out and make the shots. And if I'm tied for the lead coming up 18, then maybe I'll think about it. I've got a long way to go. I'm just going to enjoy the moment and hit a few balls and see what happens.''
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