Like child's play, Hanna whittled down to a stroke the lead Annika Sorenstam had secured for herself earlier in the day - within fifteen minutes of her round.
Then Hanna lost her feel with the putter. 'I didn't figure out what I was doing with my putter until the last few holes when I made that long birdie putt (on 15),' said Hanna immediately after her round.
There were birdie opportunities out there, but for whatever reason Hanna could not make the putts fall. 'I putted well when I had to save my pars. I didn't make birdies like I did yesterday.'
On the par-4 10th she missed a birdie opportunity after rolling an 8-foot putt to the hole where it hung on the lip refusing to fall in the cup.
For the next eleven holes she made nothing but pars. It wasn't until the par-5 13th that Hanna finally got into her groove. Birdie on the par-5 13th, tied her with Sorenstam for the lead. Another on the par-3 15th gave her the outright lead and a closing birdie on the last left the winless, second year player in the lead by two strokes.
Hanna had carded a two-day total of 13-under-par 63-68 131 and set a new 36-hole record at Randolph North Golf Club in the process. 'I have to keep telling myself that this is where I want to be and why I am practicing so hard,' said a very confident Hanna. 'It's my time. I'm not going to scare myself away from this one.'
Hanna holds non-exempt status this year after an injury mid-season 2000. So far this year she has finished 78th at the YourLife Vitamins LPGA Classic and missed the cut at both the Takefuji Classic and the Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open.
Annika Sorenstam started off at a gallop's pace on Friday. She teed off on the back nine in second place and birdied the first hole of the day to move to 8-under-par. By the time she had made it to the 13th hole she had tied Jen Hanna's first round lead of 9-under-par. Sorenstam didn't stop there - she birdied two more times to finish the back nine at 11-under-par.
After making the turn at 11-under, Sorenstam dropped back one on the par-4 2nd. Her approach shot was short leaving her with a chip shot to the green. She chipped to within three feet and two putted making her first bogey of the event.
'My only mistake was silly on No. 2,' she said after her round. 'I was hitting sand wedge in to the green and just hit it bad. After that I lost some momentum. I told my caddy I must have lost some oxygen to my brain or something to hit that kind of shot.'
The tenacious Swede managed to get back to 11-under with a birdie on No. 3. Her two-day total of 65-68 133 left her atop the leaderboard early in the day, but ironically, in the end Hanna put her right back where she began - lagging by two.
Randolph North's course record of 10-under-par 62 was safe today. As expected, scores were slightly higher during the second round.
Still, there were a lot of good rounds posted. Dottie Pepper, Pat Hurst and Se Ri Pak all shot 4-under-par on the back nine this morning. Cinderella story Dorothy Delasin (67-68) is in the hunt after finishing tied with Hurst and Pak (both 68-67) at 9-under-par 135.
Lorie Kane shot 5-under-par 67 for the second day in a row leaving her in a position she knows well - three of Kane's four victories were from behind. Kane is tied with Dottie Pepper and Brandie Burton.
Amateur Lorina Ochoa's bogey on the first hole Friday foreshadowed the troubles she would have throughout the rest of her round. On Thursday she fired off a spectacular round of 6-under-par 66 to put herself in contention for the lead, but day two was not as kind to the University of Arizona freshman. She managed to shoot 74 on Friday and made the cut. 'I have nothing to lose,' said Ochoa Thursday night. 'I am honored to be here playing with all these great players, I think this is every college player's dream to play an LPGA tournament.'
75 players made the cut of 2-under-par 142. This is the lowest score for a 36-hole cut in the history of the event. The lucky 72 will find conditions much different Saturday. High winds and rain are expected but the current leader has no fear. 'Right now I'm hitting the ball pretty solidly. I will tell you I do like to play in the rain.'
Check out full-field scores from the Welch's/Circle K