Michelle Wie shot a 6-under 66 yesterday to take a share of the second-round lead.
Wie tied at top
She was on her way to a record-breaking round but the putts just didn't fall
EVIAN, France » It didn't take long for Michelle Wie to prove she is one of the best in the field of this year's Evian Masters.
The teen phenom fired an eye-opening 6-under-par 66 today to grab a share of the lead at 135 with two others at the halfway point of the elite, no-cut invitational.
"I thought I played very solid today and made some good pars, too," said Wie, who had six birdies in a bogey-free round. "I still feel I left a lot of shots out there but my game feels good."
Wie is tied at the top of the leaderboard with Karrie Webb, winner of the first major, the Kraft Nabisco, and the Michelob Ultra Open, and Lorena Ochoa, a two-time winner and money leader on the LPGA Tour this year.
Se Ri Pak, who beat Webb in a playoff to win the McDonald's Championship, is just one shot off the lead after she shot her second consecutive 68 today.
World No. 1 Annika Sorenstam is only three shots off the lead after turning in another 69 today.
"I didn't feel as good today as yesterday, then I had a lot of birdie chances," said Sorenstam. "Today was up and down, I know the course and love it, (I) just need to do it."
The Evian Masters field has 20 Americans playing, 19 Koreans, and eight players from Sweden plus the top players in the Rolex Rankings from 17 other countries around the world.
Wie's start was brilliant.
On the first hole, a 355-yard par 4, she hit a 3-wood off the tee and a 9-iron into the green, leaving her a four-foot putt for birdie. On the third, she hit a great 5-wood and then pitched it to 10 feet for another birdie.
The fourth -- a 367-yard, par 4 -- was more of the same.
She hit a good drive and a pitching wedge to 3 feet for another birdie. On the seventh, a 526-yard par 5, Wie used the driver again, then a 5-iron to the fringe, a chip and a tap in.
Birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 were setting up a course-breaking round. The putts just didn't fall.
She did manage to par the 17th (par 3, 114 yards) today; she played her 52-degree wedge again but was short of flying the green by 40 yards as she did yesterday.
"I hit good putts and had so many birdie opportunities but they just rolled by the hole," said Wie.
Wie is also playing a little more conservatively here this year.
The driver is in play on four or five holes. "It isn't a course where you need to bomb it every hole," she said.
She went with the driver and went left into the rough on the 18th.
"I had a weird lie, so I laid up," said Wie.
She hasn't tried to drive the green on No. 16, a 290-yard, par 4, either this year. Course management and control are more apparent in many areas here at the Masters.
Wie said she was off "to putt a bit and try to get that feel, hit a few balls, and rest.
"I took a lot of sun today. Have a nice dinner and get on the Internet."
No retail therapy yet, she says. "I am saving my money and then I am going to go crazy," said Wie.
Sunshine, blue skies and Alpine views are the talk of the world's best lady golfers in Evian. Picture perfect with the Alps of Switzerland rising behind Lake Geneva on one side and the French Alps standing majestically as one tees off on the first hole. The women have gotten hot with the heat ... red ink is everywhere but there still is a lot of golf to be played.
Ochoa, a two time winner this year on the LPGA, said she struggled a bit today.
"I need to practice some short putts and get ready for tomorrow," said Ochoa.
Webb, meanwhile, had a superb front nine with four birdies and an eagle for 31.
But she lost the momentum on the return with a 37.
"I have had trouble with the greens here the past couple of years so it is good to see a few go in," she said. "I am happy with my golf that I played this year, my confidence level is better but not as high as when I was playing well every week a few years back."