C Sorenstam Five Behind Korean Phenom


Ladies European TourSINGAPORE -- Charlotta Srenstam from Sweden carded a course-record 8-under-par 64 during the second round of the $200,000 Samsung Ladies Masters and is the nearest challenger to runaway leader Bo Bae Song from Korea, who tacked on a 6-under-par 66 on to yesterdays 65 and extended her lead to five shots.
Song, who won the Korean LPGA Money list, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 2004 sits at 13 under par and is on course to add her third professional title at just 18-years-old.
Another Korean player, Mi Ye Na, is alone on 7 under par after a second round 69.
Lynnette Brooky from New Zealand is a shot further back in fourth spot on six under after her second round 70 and is tied with Englands Laura Davies, who after a 3-under 69, admitted her disappointment that she was probably playing for second place.
Three players are tied for sixth place, Linda Wessberg from Sweden, Libby Smith from the USA and 20-year-old Spanish rookie Elisa Serramia, who backed up her opening 68 with a level par 72.
But it was bad news for Minea Blomqvist from Finland, who was in second place after the opening round. The 19-year-old from Helsinki endured a day she would rather forget, racking up a 9-over-par 81, which included quadruple bogey on the second hole.
However Song, who has not dropped a shot in 36 holes, had an added stroke of luck on Friday with an eagle two at the fourth after dunking her 9 iron from 139-yards and will be the player to catch on Saturdays final round in search of the $30,000 first prize. The glimmer of hope for the field is that the teenage has never completed a professional tournament without dropping a shot. But that is a long-shot.
And there is plenty of incentive for the young Korean because should she win and join the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour as will be her opportunity, Song would be a fully exempt player all the way through to 2008 and qualify for this years Evian Masters and Weetabix Womens British Open.
Normally when you get a good start its very difficult to maintain momentum over the next few days, said Song, nicknamed BB by her peers.
Today, although I was very tired and my muscles ached, I was fortunate to start with an eagle, as I did yesterday. From there I had some luck and everything went my way and that put me up in the lead.
I played very well last year throughout the season, so tomorrow I am confident I can rely on my experience. Ill just let the round play out and hopefully that will be another victory.
However, high on Srenstams wish list is another victory as it has been almost five years since she won the Standard Register PING event, her only professional victory.
A win would mean a great deal, its been a while. Not only to win, but to play well again would be great, said Srenstam who was the epitome of consistency and played what many people would consider a perfect round.
I hit every fairway and every green and I hit a few tight to the pin and I reached three out of four par fives and that helped.
If I had hit 18 putts and been 18 under par, it would have been the perfect round!
She (Song) seems to be playing really well. I had a little slow start and well see what happens tomorrow. Ill play my own game and see if thats enough.
After struggling for two seasons with a nagging shoulder injury, Srenstam feels she has turned the corner and now that she can practice more and is beginning to find her confidence on the course, she has ambitious plans.
I want to get my card back on the LPGA Tour and hopefully play well enough in the European events I am going to enter and maybe have a chance for The Solheim Cup, she added.
Im planning on playing four or five events (in Europe) to try and qualify. I know thats a long shot but in 1998 when I played Solheim it was great and I really want to do it again. I had so much fun.
But pre-tournament favourite Laura Davies could not make a dent in Songs lead and will hope for a dramatic turnaround in results to give her any chance of lifting her 67th career title.
It was really hard work out there today and made a lot harder knowing that I was ten shots behind before I had even teed off, said Davies, who was playing in the afternoon matches.
Making up three shots is not enough in-roads and I think seven behind is too many to win it unless she has a blow-out, which she doesnt show any signs of doing. So I feel I am playing for second place right now, which is disappointing.