Wie was informed of her two-stroke penalty in the scorer's hut
-6 J Inkster (US)
-3 S Cavalleri (Ita)
-2 Kung (Tai), Stupples (GB), Wright (Aus), Kane (Can)
-1 A Sorenstam (Swe)
Level L Davies (Eng)
Juli Inkster kept her three-stroke lead after the second round of the Women's British Open but it was fellow American Michelle Wie who made the headlines.
Wie was docked two shots after touching a lump of moss behind her ball on her backswing in a bunker at the 14th.
The penalty turned Wie's round of 72 into a 74 and the 16-year-old is now 10 shots behind Inkster, who shot a 72.
Britain's Karen Stupples is tied for third on two under after a 69 while Laura Davies hit a second straight 72.
Wie's infringement was caught by the TV cameras at the Royal Lytham and St Annes course and she was informed in the scorer's hut that she had broken the rules and would be penalised two shots.
"I knew I hit the moss but thought if you swung through, it was OK," said the American.
"I guess I knew the rule wrong, but that's what happens when you're 16. It's a good learning experience."
It is her second rule infringement in nine months, coming after she was disqualified on her professional debut for dropping the ball nearer the hole in the Samsung World Championship in California.
Stupples, who won the British Open at Sunningdale two years ago, sank three birdies and also had an eagle at the second after holing out with a five-iron.
"Today was the first time since Sunningdale that I've holed a shot like that. It was brilliant," said the 33-year-old.
Fellow Briton Davies bogeyed the last two holes and is now six shots behind Inkster.
Second-placed Silvia Cavalleri was tied for the lead with two holes to play but the Italian took three in a greenside bunker at the 17th on her way to a 72.
World number one Annika Sorenstam stayed in touch on one under after a 71 which contained five birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey six at the eighth.
Australian Karrie Web missed the cut after a disastrous 82, which left her on 14 over.
American Lee-Ann Walker-Cooper had a hole-in-one at the par-three ninth.