A major opportunity for Michelle Wie

Michelle Wie is among the best-known figures in American golf, yet she has never won an LPGA Tour event in the United States.

The former teenage phenom does have two LPGA victories but they came in Mexico (in 2009) and Canada (2010).

Now the 24-year-old Wie, playing some of her best golf in years, is in position to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, one of the LPGA's major events.

Wie and 19-year-old Lexi Thompson will enter Sunday's final round as the tournament's co-leaders at 10-under-par 206.

"I'm really excited that I have a good chance," Wie said. "Definitely nervous for tomorrow but extremely excited."

Wie shot a four-under 68 on Saturday and Thompson finished with a three-under 69 after three-putting for a bogey on the par-five 18th hole.

They'll be paired in the final twosome Sunday, and "it will be great playing with Michelle," Thompson said. "We're just going to be bombing it out there."

And another teenager, 18-year-old Charley Hull of England, surged into contention after shooting a six-under 66.

Hull was tied with veteran Se Ri Pak of South Korea at eight under, two shots behind the leaders. Pak, who started the day tied for the lead with Thompson, shot a 71 after making three bogeys on the back nine.

Cristie Kerr (71) and Catriona Matthew of Scotland (70) were four shots behind the leaders at six under.

Wie started fast by sinking a 20-foot birdie on the first hole, a par four, and she also made an 18-footer for birdie on the par-three sixth. She followed with birdies at the ninth and 11th holes, both par fives.

Asked how she'd challenge Thompson, Wie said, "I'm not going to go out there and do anything stupid and change anything. I can't control what anyone else does."

Thompson opened the day as co-leader after a sizzling 64 on Friday, and she had several early chances to pull away from the field Saturday.

But Thompson missed three birdie putts of six feet or less on the front nine before rebounding with birdies on the 11th, 12th and 15th holes.

"Overall it was a pretty solid day," Thompson said, adding that she wouldn't lose sleep about the missed short putts. "I probably will just put that in the past."

Hull turned 18 on March 20, and four days later she won her first Ladies European Tour event in Morocco.

She was nearly flawless Saturday with six birdies and no bogeys. "I holed some good putts and when I put myself in trouble I got out of it pretty well," Hull said.

If Hull wins Sunday, she would become the youngest woman to win an LPGA major tournament.

The record currently is held by Morgan Pressel, who was 18 years and 10 months when she won the Kraft Nabisco in 2007. Pressel shot 75 on Saturday and was one under overall.

First-round leader Shanshan Feng of China shot an even-par 72 and was five under, five behind Wie and Thompson.


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