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Swedes Stalk the Lead

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First round leader Beth Daniel was unable to retain the lead with her second round score of 4-under-par 68 after Swedens Maria Hjorth shot a 7-under-par 65 to take the outright lead at 10-under for the tournament and fellow countrywoman Sophie Gustafson recorded 6-under 66 to move to 9-under for the event and tied with Daniel.
 
It has been a good run, a confident Hjorth said. Ive actually been playing very solid the last two months. And these recent five weeks, Ive really been playing well and have finally been able to get good scores together. Its great fun ' you just build up so much confidence that every time you tee it up, you know you can play well and that youre going to have another good round again.
 
Both Daniel and Gustafson trail the lead by one stroke.
 
Gustafson had a remarkable second round, recording an eagle on the 477-yard, par 5 7th as well as a spectacular hole-in-one Thursday with her sand wedge from 109 yards on the par 3 17th. It was her first hole-in-one during a tournament ' her third ever - and was made infinitely better with the car she won for doing so.
 
Beth Daniel had a sole bogey in what was otherwise a decent follow-up to her opening round. I definitely hit it better today. I gave myself more birdie opportunities, the hall of famer said. And I really think I hit good putts that just didnt go in the hole.
 
Daniel recorded five birdies Thursday. I only missed one fairway, and that one I missed by inches. I was really driving the ball well today; which is something Ive been struggling with. So I was happy to see that I was hitting fairways. I also hit a lot of good iron shots ' I only missed two greens.
 
From tee to green, it was a very solid round, Said Daniel, currently ranked 30th on the money list.
 
Daniel links her success this week to a good attitude and a discussion she held with swing coach Mike McGetrick, whom she spoke with just prior to the event.
 
Koreas Se Ri Pak is 7-under-par with 69-68 137, while Mi Hyun Kim (71-67) is tied with Japans Akiko Fukushima (72-66) at 6-under.
 
Swedens darling Annika Sorenstam has not performed as well as expected in the last few weeks. The U.S. Womens Open was a bitter disappointment ' her play was mediocre at best (for Annika anyway), and to top it off arch rival Karrie Webb returned to competition after a 5-week hiatus from the LPGA Tour and seized the day with a glorious defense of her 2000 title. Webb - even 71-73 144 - is not in the hunt this week. Annika is doing her best to get there - although back-to-back 69s have left the No. 1 player trailing the lead by four.
 
Third round play commences at 7:50 am local time. Karrie Webb will be the 14th group to tee off and is paired with Americans Jill McGill and Heather Bowie.
 
Full-field scores for the Evian Masters