If there's a theme building for the 2014 Women's British Open, it would be don't believe anything you see. Friday's second round was a rude awakening for a lot of players entering the day at or near the top of the leaderboard.
For instance, first-round leader Ayako Uehara, who shot a four-under 68 on Thursday, came crashing back to earth with a seven-over 79 on Friday that included a double- and triple-bogey on the back nine.
The good news for Uehara is she finished well enough on Day 1 that making the cut, which is projected to be six-over, won't be a problem.
Here is a look back at Friday's top storylines from Royal Birkdale Golf Club, including an updated leaderboard.
|2014 Women's British Open Leaderboard - Round 2|
|Position||Player||Round 2 Score||Overall|
|1||Mo Martin||-3 (69)||-6|
|T2||Beatriz Recari||-5 (67)||-3|
|T2||So Yeon Ryu||-2 (70)||-3|
|T4||Sun Ju Ahn||-5 (67)||-2|
|T4||Julieta Granada||-2 (70)||-2|
|T6||Amelia Lewis||-1 (71)||-1|
|T6||Amy Yang||E (72)||-1|
|T6||Gwaldys Nocera||-2 (70)||-1|
|T6||Ariya Jutanugarn||-4 (68)||-1|
|T10||Azahara Munoz||E (72)||E|
Full results can be found at LPGAScoring.com
Mo Martin Hits Her Stride
In a surprise twist, 31-year-old Mo Martin will take a three-stroke lead into Saturday after firing her second consecutive three-under par 69. The reason it's surprising, per Beth Ann Nichols of GolfWeek.com, is the American has never finished better than 29th in any Grand Slam event.
Just as impressive is the way Martin is hitting and putting the ball. She made five birdies on Friday, including two on 15 and 18 that saved her round following back-to-back bogeys on 11 and 12.
However, before we start singing Martin's praises, it's important to remember that Uehara was also a player who had struggled in Majors before and hit a wall following a stellar first-round performance.
Whatever happens this weekend, Martin certainly has reasons to feel confident. She is the only player to break 70 in each of the first two rounds and hasn't let one bad hole get in the way of her game plan.
Michelle Wie's Tournament Is Over
Coming off a lackluster three-over 75 on Thursday, Michelle Wie had a lot of work to do if she wanted to get in contention. Instead, the American star played even worse on Friday with a six-over 78 that left her on the wrong side of the cut line.
Wie, who was coming off the biggest win of her career at the U.S. Open last month, had no answers for reporters, via ESPN.com, after missing the cut:
I was trying to figure that out myself. I missed a lot of greens. I had a lot of hard par putts today, and I didn't make them. I didn't do much on any of the holes. It didn't go quite as well as I wanted it to.
Missing greens was just part of Wie's problem. She missed half of her fairways in the first round and couldn't get any momentum building in the second round. The 24-year-old didn't have a birdie on the front nine, despite four bogeys, then ended the round with a double-bogey on 16 and bogey on 17.
ESPN's Golf Twitter account provided highlights of Wie's performance, as well as analysis of what went wrong from Tom Rinaldi and Dottie Pepper:
While this could be seen as a significant step back for Wie following her triumph at Pinehurst in June, it's important to remember that players have bad days. After all, she didn't have a round over 73 this year prior to Thursday.
The real test of Wie's character will come in September at the Evian Championship. If she struggles in the final Grand Slam of the year, there will be a significant story to talk about. For now, this just looks like a blip on her radar.
Stacy Lewis Lurking Despite Second-Round Struggles
Stacy Lewis, the top-ranked player on Tour and defending British Open champion, got off to a strong start on Thursday with a one-under par 71. She had a chance to make a big move on Friday, but struggled to find her rhythm with a two-over 74 and enters Saturday seven shots behind Martin.
Unlike Wie, who never found her footing, Lewis was able to right the ship long enough to remain around the top of the leaderboard. She started off with three bogeys on the first four holes and four total on the front nine but saved herself with four birdies from No. 5 through 12.
Lewis did take a seven on the par-five 15th hole that skewed her final score, though a birdie on 18 moved her into a tie for 16th and built momentum heading into Moving Day.
If you want to look at history, Lewis' 74 on Friday isn't the end of the world. She shot a 72 in the second round last year before coming back with a 69 and 72 in the final two rounds to capture her second career Grand Slam title.
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