Michelle Wie steadied herself with pars over the last four holes on a wild Saturday in the U.S. Women's Open, leaving the former teen prodigy from Hawaii tied for the lead at Pinehurst, N.C., as she goes for her first major title.
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 two-over-par 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 two-under 208, the only two players still under par on a course that was crispy and brittle. The USGA set the course up relative to what the men faced last Saturday in the U.S. 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 birdied the opening hole and played like she did when she won a pair of Opens more than a decade ago.
Inkster, who hasn't made the cut in this championship in five years, was tied for third, four shots behind the co-leaders.
Lexi Thompson, who won the first LPGA major of the year in a final-round duel with Wie, pulled within one shot with a pair of early birdies before it fell apart on two holes. Thompson missed the green to the left on No. 8 — the worst spot at Pinehurst — and her first chip fell down the slope, leading to double bogey.
On the next hole, she went long over the green at the par-three ninth, and chose to take relief she really didn't need from a white line marking the TV tower. Thompson went to the drop zone, and her ball rolled a back into a divot. She made another double bogey, then made three straight bogeys on the back nine.
Thompson shot 74 and was five shots behind.
Moore leads Travelers
The 31-year-old Moore had a 13-under 197 total at TPC River Highlands after opening with rounds of 63 and 68. He won the CIMB Classic in Malaysia at the start of the season in October for his third PGA Tour title.
Baddeley had six birdies and a bogey in a 65.
Moore has finished in the top 10 four times in eight starts at the Travelers.
Tom Lehman opened a three-stroke lead in the Encompass Championship, shooting a bogey-free six-under 66 before play was suspended because of a thunderstorm at Glenview, Ill.
Lehman had a 13-under 131 total at North Shore Country Club, playing the first 36 holes without a bogey. The 55-year-old Minnesotan won the last of his seven senior titles in 2012.
Thirty-one players were unable to finish the round because of rain.
Kirk Triplett, John Inman, Roger Chapman and Bart Bryant were 10 under. Triplett and Inman shot 67, Chapman had a 68, and Bryant had two holes left when play was washed out.
Ilonen up in Ireland
Mikko Ilonen of Finland birdied the last hole to stay on top of the Irish Open leaderboard after the third round at Cork. Ilonen, who has led from the outset, carded a two-under-par 69 to move to a 12-under total at Fota Island.
Ilonen will take a one-shot lead into the final round over Danny Willett of England, who eclipsed Ilonen's own course record by a shot with an eight-under 63 that included a hole in one at the seventh.
One shot back at 10 under was crowd favorite Graeme McDowell, who birdied two of his closing three holes in a 69. The Northern Irishman was not only targeting a first victory this year but also a maiden Irish Open victory.