Kerr takes over lead at Bell Micro Classic

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Bell Micro LPGA ClassicMOBILE, Ala. ' Cristie Kerr moved into position for her second straight LPGA Tour victory, shooting a 6-under 66 in windy conditions Friday to take a two-stroke lead over Angela Stanford in the Bell Micro LPGA Classic.
 
Kerr, the 2006 U.S. Womens Open champion coming off a playoff victory Aug. 24 in the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore., had a 9-under 135 total on The Crossing course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trails Magnolia Grove complex.
 
I felt very calm over the last couple of weeks and especially in the wind the last two days, Kerr said. I grew up in the wind in Miami and I was very comfortable out there. I just tried to figure out what it was doing and just kind of play to that instead of fighting the wind.
 
Stanford had a bogey-free 67 in the wind that gusted to 35 mph.
 
At first, I was a little nervous because we started on No. 10, and the wind was just swirling, Stanford said. It was blowing a lot harder than it did yesterday for us, obviously. We played in the morning yesterday.
 
So, I knew that I really had to stay in the moment and play one shot at a time, and just really pay attention to where we hit it into the greens.
 
Michelle Ellis was 6 under after a 70.
 
Its brutal out there, Ellis said. Its hard work. Its hot. Its swirling. This morning, (the wind) didnt really stay the same way. Youd go into the wind and youd think the next ones going to be across, and it just didnt do that. We had some gusts out there that were pretty strong.
 
Reilley Rankin was 5 under after a 69, and Laura Diaz (68), Mollie Fankhauser (68), Katherine Hull (69), Irene Cho (72) and first-round leaders Shanshan Feng (73) and Anna Rawson (73) were 4 under.
 
I had a couple of balls that actually were going at the pin and then came backwards, Rawson said. So, me and my caddie, we just couldnt work it out, so we made a lot of mistakes with putts. Luckily the short game was OK, so I saved myself a few times, but yeah, it was pretty bad.
 
Paula Creamer, an eight-stroke winner last year at The Crossings in the Tournament of Champions, followed her opening 78 with a 69 to make the cut at 3 over.
 
Kerr birdied three of the four par 5s.
 
I felt like even though theres the extremely tough conditions, Ive really managed to control my ball well in the wind, Kerr said. I had a lot of birdie opportunities and Ive been putting well.
 
All in all Ive been playing great. Im really enjoying myself. My caddie and I, John Killeen, are really having a lot of fun out there, not putting too much pressure on myself and just trying to execute well.
 
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