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Webb Leads Rain Rules at US Womens Open

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Karrie Webb set a new women's competitive course record during the second round of the 56th U.S. Women's Open at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club.

Webb shot 5-under-par 65 to move to 5-under for the tournament and grab hold of the lead. In the process, she broke the old course record of 66 set by Annika Sorenstam and Kris Tschetter during the 1996 Women's Open.
 
Webb entered the clubhouse early in the second round, a round that was eventually suspended for the day due to continual thunderstorms.
 
'Well, I really just took off - took up where I left off yesterday, just really a lot of good, solid ball-striking again,' Webb said.
 
The defending champion teed off on the backside, birdieing the 2nd hole right out of the gates.
 
She made no bogeys and five birdies to complete what she called a very solid round of golf.
 
'Well I think - I've said many times this year, I've been working on a few things, and I felt the weeks leading up to this that every day it was coming around a bit more,' said Webb.
 
'And I put in a hard week's work last week and really felt good about where my game was, enough to think that I had a chance at the Open and at least put myself into contention for the weekend.
 
'And that was my main goal was to - not put myself too far out of it Thursday and Friday, to give myself a shot on the weekend.'
 
Webb reminded everyone why she had held the No. 1 position on the money list for two consecutive years on the 413-yard par-4 2nd where she masterfully chipped the ball in the hole from 60 feet with her sand wedge.
 
'It was just one of those shots that I had plenty of green to work with, but it was one of those chip shots that if you got it to within five feet and got it up-and-down you would be pretty happy,' she said.
 
'It was fortunate that I landed it exactly where I wanted it to and rolled out the way I planned. It's a bonus when you're playing well, some of those things happen.'
 
The skies opened up prompting a second rain delay (2:36 p.m.) to be called just moments after Webb and her playing partners walked off the course.
 
'I looked at the weather last night and this morning and thought no matter what I had from 8 o'clock this morning, I had 12 hours to finish my round,' Webb said.
 
'Even if we had storms this morning, I still had a pretty good shot at finishing my round today. And that's what I wanted to achieve, hopefully, if Mother Nature was going to let us.'
 
Webb was paired with Juli Inkster (72) and Laura Davies (73) for the first two rounds of the event.
 
'When I saw my pairing last week, I probably couldn't have asked for a much better pairing, I think. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Juli and Laura. You pretty much know that you're going to see some good shots and some good golf in that group.'
 
There is mutual respect between the players. Karrie is playing great, Juli said of her playing partner. I played with her today and she played awesome.
 
Webb currently leads the rest of the field by two strokes and having finished up prior to the final delay she is sitting pretty on the lead.
 
Thirteen-year-old Morgan Pressel is among those who will not make the cut. She shot a 39 on the back nine Friday and had a hole and a half to finish on the front side when play was suspended.
 
Pressel received some advice from her Grandfather after making bogey on the 401-yard par 4 14th for the second consecutive day.
 
He just said youre not going to make the cut. But that was half obvious ' completely obvious.
 
Although competitors dont have to show up tomorrow to finish playing 36 holes, Pressel will be here.
 
I want to finish my experience here. I want to finish my round. said Pressel, who has a 12-footer on the 8th for birdie remaining and one hole after that, the par-4 9th.
 
The 9th hole is not easy. Its right on the ledge or close to it. So that might be a bogey hole. But Id still shoot 78. And I might birdie 8, because Im right there by the pin.
 
3:30 p.m.
The third and final suspension of the day left 11 morning groups on the course, along with 10 afternoon groups that had not even teed off.
 
4:30 p.m.
USGA Director of Womens Rules and Competitions Kendra Graham gave some insight to the potential scenarios that may follow based on the weather delays.
 
Well interestingly enough we dodged several bullets this morning, despite the three suspensions that weve had. I dont know if youve heard, but there have been tornados and golf ball size hail in Raleigh, N.C., so it could have been worse, Graham said.
 
Right now there is heavy rain and the storm has a lot of lightning in it, which is obviously such a huge concern for us. It should be through here at about 5:30 p.m.. We told the players at 3:30 p.m. that we would give them another update a 5:30 so we gave them two hours to go back to their rooms if they want to.
 
'Now at 5:30 p.m., although we should still have some rain, it should be much lighter in nature. At the time we made the announcement for the two-hour window we didnt know how much rain would come down - and weve had a lot so far. Our plan was at 5:30 p.m. to assess the golf course. Unfortunately there is more rain than we expected.
 
'Its a possibility that we would have to go to (groupings of) threes in round three, but well do everything we can to go in twos. But there are still so many ifs because we dont know how much rain well get tonight. Our plan is to play in twos off of one tee. Thats our hope.
 
This is not the first time the Open has suffered from weather delays. During the 1987 Championship at Plainfield Country Club play was completed on Tuesday because of weather and a playoff.
 
The USGA follows strict criteria when assessing the condition of a golf course. When play is suspended due to weather the officials along with the superintendent will take a look at the golf course to ascertain what condition it is in and the amount of work necessary to make it once again playable.
 
The first and foremost (criteria) is to play under the rules of golf. What we will look at first is the bunkers as far as how much washout there is and how much work it will take to make the course playable again, said Graham. 'On Monday, with the rain we had, the bunkers drained very well.
 
I was just with the golf course superintendent, Dave Fruchte, and I can tell you already weve had more rain than we had on Monday. I mean the driving range right now is just totally under water. I will tell you initially we had hoped to assess the golf course at 5:30, and (Fruchte) felt like he could, at the time we talked, that we could resume play at 6:15 or 6:30 p.m.. Im not sure thats possible now, with the amount of rain thats fallen.
 
Two inches of rain had been recorded by 4:45 p.m. with more falling.
 
5:30 p.m.
Play was officially suspended for the day at 5:30 p.m. The driving range will open at 5:45 a.m. Saturday while the completion of round two scheduled to resume on Saturday at 7:00 a.m. Currently the cut is projected to be 8-over par.
 
Full-field scores from the 56th U.S. Women's Open

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