Koch and Kung Share Lead


Candie Kung retained a piece of the lead at the Weetabix Womens British Open with a second-round score of 1-under 71 to finish tied with Carin Koch at 8-under 136. Kung set a new course record of 65 during the opening round and continued to hold her weight against the best professional golfers in the world.
Friday was a far cry from the fair weather that competitors had experienced during the last few days. With storm clouds looming overhead, players teed off in the morning as Turnberry served up wet and windy conditions with temperatures barely reaching the mid-50s.
But Kung was prepared.
With her brother Justin, a graduate of MIT, on the bag and wearing a rain suit and two, count em, two hats, she had an amazing start to her day recording par, birdie, eagle on the opening holes. This quickly gave the former University of Southern California golfer a jump on the day, and the rest of the field.
The front side of the famed Ailsa course played harder Friday than the closing nine, and Kung, as well as others in the field, definitely felt it.
'Everything started off pretty good, birdied the second, eagled the third, everything was in control and then the wind started picking up on, I don't know, probably like our 6th hole or something,' Kung said. 'And all of a sudden it got really cold and I just lost control of my drives.'
She recorded her first bogey in 25 holes on the par-5 seventh and another at the turn on the par-4 ninth. Kung completed her round by rather carelessly dropping a stroke on the last to join Koch at 8-under.
One week ago, Koch missed the cut at the Norwegian Masters. Friday, she matched her first-round score of 68 to move into a share of the lead going into the weekend.
'When I looked out the window this morning I thought it was going to be worse,' Koch said of the weather. 'I walked up to breakfast, I thought it was absolutely freezing and that it may be might get worse and worse this afternoon. But it wasn't too bad today, the cold or the wind.'
Sporting blond braids and a ski beanie, the Swedish beauty managed the opening holes in just 35 strokes. On the back nine it was back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th that gave her game a much needed boost and has now left her on top of the leaderboard. 'I putted really good for two days now. Not making everything, but just everything is close and everything is a good speed.'
Koch and Kung hold a one-shot advantage over Beth Bauer, Paula Marti, Tina Barrett and Karrie Webb, who are all tied at 7-under 137.
'I really enjoy coming over here,' Barrett, who has made nine consecutive British Open cuts, said. 'I wouldn't miss it. I don't know how anyone could miss coming and playing here with all the history, and new experiences, and the food and the pints and everything, it is just -- it's different than what we have in the States, but to me, it is like one of the great things of being on the Tour is that we get to see places like this.'
The Ailsa Craig and Turnberry lighthouse looked on as Karrie Webb recorded a trio of bogeys at the turn Friday morning. Its the most exposed area of the course, and with winds gusting, the dreaded ninth and 10th were two of the toughest holes on the course.
'It was extremely cold this morning and extremely windy, especially when we got out right on those ocean holes there,' Webb said. 'And the holes 4 through 11 were probably the toughest stretch of holes I have ever played, I think, as far as what the weather did to make those holes extremely tough.'
Webb recovered with her second eagle of the day on the par-5 17th to return to 1-under for the day and finish in the best position that she has been in all season.
Among a plethora of young talent that has risen to the top of the leaderboard is LPGA Tour rookie sensation Beth Bauer.
Bauer was all smiles following Fridays round. It was tough today, Bauer said. This morning, the wind was blowing two to three clubs. The wind can come up at any minute.
Bauer, a former member of the Futures Tour, gained her links golf experience while playing as a member of the U.S. Curtis Cup team in 2000. Friday, in typical Scottish conditions, she navigated her way through the blustery course, recording six birdies throughout her round and one of the lowest scores of the day. One bogey, on the par-4 16th, marred an otherwise error-free round.
Defending champion Se Ri Pak is at 5-under after shooting even par.
Annika Sorenstam will make Scottish headlines for the wrong reason after recording her worst round since 1999. At 5-over for the day and a projected cut of 2-over, Sorenstam has insured that she will not be around for the weekend.
Shes not the only veteran who will be watching from the sidelines this weekend. Laura Davies recorded 74-75 (149) to finish 5-over, while the reigning U.S. Open champion Juli Inkster recorded 75-78 (153) to earn a short vacation.
Full-field scores from the Weetabix Women's British Open