Annika on Verge of Four-Peat


OTSU-SHIGA, Japan -- Annika Sorenstam shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead through two rounds of the Mizuno Classic. Sorenstam, who is trying to win this event for a fourth straight season, finished with a 36-hole total of 15-under-par 129.
'I would like to win four times in a row, but if I break the scoring record too that would be even better,' said Sorenstam.
Chihiro Nakajima, who shared the opening-round lead with Sorenstam at Seta Golf Club, managed a 2-under 70 to take second place at 11-under-par 133. Laura Davies, who is the only player to win the same event four consecutive times on the LPGA Tour, was three shots further back along with Aree Song, Grace Park, Candie Kung, Junko Omote, Jamie Hullett and Chieko Amanuma at 8-under-par 136.
Sorenstam made history at this tournament last year when she became the first LPGA player to win two different events three straight times. The Swede is now one round away from joining Davies as the only players to capture an event four years in a row.
'I am very pleased,' said Sorenstam, who is seeking her 55th career victory on the LPGA Tour. 'Tomorrow is going to be a big day in many ways. I know I have an opportunity to make history, and obviously I look forward to that, but it is one thing at a time.'
Sorenstam and Nakajima matched birdies at the first to remain tied at 10 under, but Sorenstam picked up a birdie at the fourth to take the outright lead. Sorenstam then birdied the sixth and the eighth before finding trouble with a bogey at the par-3 ninth.
At the par-4 14th, Sorenstam hit her second shot to three feet and drained the birdie putt to get to minus-13. Sorenstam then took advantage of the closing par-5s with a birdie at the 17th and a birdie at the 18th after her third shot stopped four feet from the cup.
'I have been in this position before and I learned my lesson the hard way,' said Sorenstam. 'I am going to go out there tomorrow like I have no lead, do the best I can and we will see what happens.'
Nakajima managed very little after her birdie at the first. She tallied a birdie at the par-4 11th and parred her way in to remain bogey-free for the week.
Carin Koch, Hee-Won Han, Rachel Teske and Akiko Fukushima share 10th place at 7-under-par 137.
Laura Diaz, Stacy Prammanasudh, Mi Hyun Kim, Kim Saiki, Catriona Matthew and Yuko Saitoh followed at 6-under-par 138.
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