Michelle Wie fired a second straight five-under par 66 on Saturday to seize the lead before storms stopped play in the second round of the LPGA NW Arkansas Championship.
Wie, the one-time prodigy who claimed the first major title of her career at the US Women’s Open at Pinehurst last week, had six birdies and just one birdie.
Her 10-under total of 132 put her in the clubhouse with a two-stroke lead over South Korea’s Ryu So-Yeon when play was halted at the sodden Pinnacle Country Club course.
Ryu had five birdies and one bogey in her second successive 67 for 134.
South Korea’s Chella Choi and Norwegian Suzann Pettersen were level on 135, Choi boosted by six birdies and an eagle in her 65 and Pettersen with a 67 to get to seven-under through 36 holes.
On the course, Denmark’s Line Vedel was also seven-under with five holes to play, one of 72 players who failed to complete the second round.
Katherine Kirk was the best-placed Australian at two-under, having completed half of her second round.
LPGA vice president Sue Witters said officials hoped to get the second round of the 54-hole tournament completed on Sunday morning, and the final round in by nightfall.
“I hate to say the ‘M word’,” she said of the possibility of a Monday finish, adding that officials were “fairly confident” that they could complete three rounds by Sunday night.
Witters said the severity of the storms made it impossible to continue play on Saturday. Even if there had been a break in the weather before darkness fell, the amount of rainfall meant it would take some time to get the course ready for play.
Wie, who also won the LPGA Lotte Championship in her home state of Hawaii earlier this year, will be trying to post back-to-back wins for the first time in her career.
She said she had spoken with her friend and mentor, Meg Mallon, who told her that despite the fatigue that inevitably follows a major win, it is possible to follow up a US Open triumph with a victory.
Mallon achieved the feat in 2004, when she won in Canada a week after capturing her second US Open title.