BY DOUG FERGUSON
The Associated Press
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. - All it takes is one hole to change the tone of the U.S. Women's Open.
For Mhairi McKay, it was a tough-luck triple bogey on No. 9 Friday that kept her from running away from the field at Pumpkin Ridge, although the consolation was a four-shot lead going into the weekend.
For Michelle Wie, it was alleged contact from Danielle Ammaccapane, a 16-year tour veteran incensed by various breaches of etiquette by the 13-year-old Hawaiian and her father working as a caddie.
McKay wound up with a 1-under 70 and finished two rounds on Witch Hollow course at 136, giving her a comfortable margin over Juli Inkster (71), Hillary Lunke (69) and Angela Stanford (70).
Donna Andrews had a 72, and at 1-under 141 was the only other player under par.
Annika Sorenstam hit an approach into the water on No. 6 and was lucky to make bogey, but a birdie on the final hole gave her another 72 eight strokes behind.
"No lead is comfortable on the weekend on this course," Sorenstam said. "Nothing is easy here."
McKay made it look that way until the end, but she wasn't about to let the ugly finish spoil her mood or her outlook.
"I'm really delighted with my golf game," she said. "It's a dream come true."
Still, the biggest news Friday was what happened Thursday.
B.J. Wie claims Ammaccapane either pushed or brushed up against his daughter on the 14th green of the first round, angry that the teen was walking in her line of sight.
Wie said Ammaccapane berated her in the scoring trailer after the first round.
"I was really surprised, because I guess I've always played with really nice people," Wie said after posting her second straight 73, allowing her to easily make the cut at her first Women's Open, although at 146 still 10 shots behind.
Ammaccapane, who finished at 148 to beat the cut by two strokes, didn't want to talk about it.
"He's entitled to what he has to say," Ammaccapane said. "If he wants to bad mouth me, he can bad mouth me. But he'll get an earful from my father."
Meantime, Sorenstam had a few choice words for Witch Hollow, particularly after taking a bogey on the 379-yard eighth hole, where the pin was placed in a bowl and the green was so hard there was no chance of getting anything close.
Her 6-iron landed about 3 feet onto the green and wound up in the first cut of rough over a shelf. She started her birdie putt 15 feet to the right, watched it roll back to the cup and 15 feet beyond, almost to the fringe.
Sorenstam looked at her husband, David Esch, and made a slash gesture across her throat. Translation: Miss the green long and you're dead.
She told the rules officials she thought the hole was almost unplayable.
"You want us to miss the green," Sorenstam said she told the official.
Inkster knows the feeling, although she brought her troubles on herself. After birdies on three of the first five holes to momentarily take the lead at 5 under, Inkster went from a fairway bunker to a greenside bunker on No. 8, then blasted out long on the upper shelf, slapping her thigh in frustration.
She brought double bogey into the picture, and that's what she got.
On the other side of Pumpkin Ridge, McKay was up to her old tricks. After five straight birdies in the opening round, she ran the table again with five birdies over seven holes to build a lead that didn't seem possible.
Still, Inkster didn't feel like the Open was slipping away.
"I've been in enough of these to know that no lead is safe," Inkster said. "These next two days are going to be really tough. I'm happy where I'm at."
No one could have guessed that McKay would give back so many shots so quickly, especially after being in complete control of her game for 35 holes.
Then again, she said she was simply a victim of poor circumstances, and it was difficult to argue with her.
Her tee shot not only found a fairway bunker, it plugged against the lip, leaving McKay no choice but to blast out as hard as she could and hope the ball found green grass. It did, but only barely, moving about 5 feet and onto a downslope of the rough.
From there, she punched into the left rough, then saw her pitch to the green run down the slope and into a collection area. She chipped out to 30 feet, and had to make a 6-footer just to save triple bogey.
McKay raised her arms in mock triumph, as if she had just won the Open.
Facing a group of reporters after her round, she smiled and said, "You're all going to ask about No. 9, aren't you?"
"Any other hole, I wouldn't be in too much trouble there," she said. "No. 9 really wasn't that bad. It was just purely circumstance, if you look at everything."
Everyone was watching.
Lunke figured she would be a mile out of the lead, but as she stood on a podium and looked at a TV screen of McKay making triple bogey, Lunke sized up the situation.
"It looks a lot better now," she said. "I'm not happy to see her do that. She's a friend of mine. But, yeah, even better for me."
McKay figures to have the last say going into the weekend.
No one else has been at 6 under at any point on Witch Hollow, and McKay had a chance to match the U.S. Women's Open record for 36 holes at 10-under 132 if she had made birdie on the final hole.
An eight-stroke advantage would have tied the record for the largest lead.
Still, she managed to see the big picture on another day of spectacular sunshine. She was in the lead, and no one was particularly close.
"In my mind, the U.S. Open is the premier event for women," she said. "And it's just very exciting. The last two days have been great. If it continues like this, that's great. And if it doesn't, it's been a great experience."