Steady Wie eyes weekend charge at Kraft

Michelle Wie shot a second consecutive 71 Friday at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

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Kraft Nabisco Championship

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Michelle Wie hit less than half her fairways Friday at the Kraft, but scrambled her way to a 1-under 71 at Mission Hills Country Club’s Dinah Shore Course.

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Michelle Wie reacts after missing a birdie putt Friday at the Kraft.

It was Wie’s second-consecutive 71. She was in the top 10 when she finished her round early Friday afternoon, four shots off the lead of Karen Stupples and Lorena Ochoa. Stupples’ 69 was the only sub-70 round out of Friday’s morning wave. Scores were higher because of thick rough, firm greens and hole locations that were more difficult than yesterday’s.

Through 36 holes, Wie has only three birdies and just one bogey. That came at the par-4 15th hole, her sixth of the day. Wie was 1 over for her first 14 holes, but made birdie on two of her final four holes.

“From (No. 6) on, I really felt like I knew what I was doing, and that my head was in the right place,” Wie said. “I feel like it’s getting better and better, and hopefully tomorrow I’ll hit more fairways.”

Wie hit just six fairways Friday, but her strength was an asset, as she was able to hit 13 greens. Wie’s inaccurate driving did not allow her to set up many makeable birdie putts.

“I had some good lag putts out there,” she said. “It was a lot of pars.”

She holed a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 6 (her 15th hole) and a 20-footer on the difficult par-3 eighth. Wie missed a 2 1/2-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th.

“It was stupid,” she said. “I pushed it.”

Still, her 71 was a good score on a difficult day.

“I definitely think it's been a struggle,” she said. “I’ve been fighting a lot. But also I feel like I’m at a good place. I feel like I'm not far off.”

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