Notes Going Low Career Grand Slam


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- The co-leader after 36 holes is American Paula Creamer who Friday shot a sizzling 67, the low round of the tournament.
It could have been lower. Creamer, playing in the same pairing as Annika Sorenstam, missed birdie putts of 5 and 7 feet on 17 and 18, respectively.
Its definitely out there, Creamer said, referring to the 62 Lorena Ochoa shot in the opening round here last year.
Ochoa and Creamer, tied for the lead at 4 under, are grouped for Saturday. Sorenstam added a 76 to her first round 75 and finds herself at 7 over par and 11 shots back of the lead.
The only stat you need to know about Sorenstams disappointing golf so far is the 63 putts she has needed the first two days. Asked about Sorenstam, Creamer said it would be a mistake to rule her out of contention.
Oh, yeah, I shot 59 before, Sorenstam said. Ill never forget that. I have to stay positive.
But, she added, so far I just cant get the spark to glow.
Lurking two shots off the lead after 36 holes is a happier, more relaxed Se Ri Pak. Pak is looking to complete the womens career Grand Slam here. Later this year she will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
For a couple of years I have been off the track, Pak said after her Friday 70. This year is totally different. This time I feel ready. And that is so different from any other years.
Does she think about achieving the career Grand Slam? All the time, Pak said.
Pak added that she hasnt decided yet on a presenter for the Hall of Fame ceremony. Talking about it (the Hall of Fame) makes me nervous, she said. Finally I get my dreams.
Defending champion Karrie Webb started the second round one shot back of Ochoa. But she suffered a melt down on the front side, bogeying five of the first six holes on that nine and ballooning to a 77.
I do feel bad for her, said playing competitor Ochoa. In major golf tournaments when you struggle it just gets so bad. Ochoa was referring to the difficulty of the course set-up.
Once again the pond next to the 18th green at the tournament course at Mission Hills Country Club looks clean enough to drink. This was not always the case.
In 1999 champion Dottie Pepper took the traditional winners leap into the water only to suffer the consequences. She got sick almost immediately and didnt play for four weeks. Walking pneumonia ensued.
Last year tournament officials dug a new pond where the old one used to be and maintained a swimming pool level with a constantly maintained flow of fresh water. Its name is Poppys Pond after tournament director Terry Wilcox who is called Poppy by his seven grandchildren.
The low amateur after 36 holes is Stacy Lewis at even par. Lewis, a junior at Arkansas, is playing in her first major.
Its cool to see my name with players like Lorena and Karrie and it shows me how good I can be, Lewis said. Im really excited about that in the future.
And, she says, shes relaxed despite the pressure of knowing she will pass Sorenstam at the top of the world rankings Sunday if she wins the championship.
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