The temperature may have cooled slightly, but Michelle Wie's game heated up as the 22-year-old fan favorite blistered Blackwolf Run to the tune of a 6-under 66 and a share of second place in Friday's second round of the U.S. Women's Open.
"I played out of my butt to shoot 6-under," Wie told reporters after finishing her day tied with Cristie Kerr at 4-under for the week and one shot back of Suzann Pettersen, the leader in the clubhouse with the afternoon wave still on the track.
Wie, who entered the tourney with six missed cuts in eight stroke-play events this season, began the second half of what she characterized earlier this week as an "off year," by employing a changed outlook.
"I just went out there and kind of tried to be patient," Wie said. "When putts started dropping in, it makes for a low round."
That it did, as Wie's "just learning to take my time" approach led to seven birdies, one bogey and just 23 putts -- 12 fewer than she needed on Thursday. While she also hit fewer greens in regulation (11 of 18 today, compared with 15 on Thursday), her shots to the putting surfaces left her less room for error with her flat stick.
"I had a couple more birdie putts today than I did yesterday," Wie said. "Yesterday I felt like I was lagging on my putts because I was outside 30 feet most of the day. So being closer to the hole definitely helps."
So far, so good for the former future of the LPGA Tour. With Lexi Thompson 1-under through three holes in her second round (3-under for the tourney), anyone else rooting for a Big Wiesy-Lexi matchup in Saturday's third round?