Kung Ties Matthew for Takefuji Lead

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LAS VEGAS -- - Candie Kung posted her second round of 5-under 67 in as many days to share the lead with first-round co-leader Catriona Matthew as play was suspended due to darkness during the second round of the 54-hole Takefuji Classic. The duo shares the top spot at 10-under-par 134 as 18 players remain on the course.
 
Those six groups will return to Las Vegas Country Club at 11:00 AM ET Saturday to wrap up the second round. The cut will be made and the final round will be played shortly thereafter.
 
There was a 90-minute weather delay Friday as a thunderstorm blew through the area. Eventually play resumed but too late for the entire field to complete their second rounds.
 
Cristie Kerr shot a 4-under 68 on Friday and is alone in third place at 9-under par. Laura Diaz, who shared the lead with Matthew after Thursday's first round, posted a 1-under 71 and is tied for fourth with Kim Saiki, who carded a 2-under 70. The duo stands at minus-7.
 
Annika Sorenstam, the 2002 winner of this event, improved on her opening- round, even-par 72. She fired a 5-under 67 and is part of a group tied for sixth at 5-under-par 139.
 
'I'm happy,' said Sorenstam, who will not play in the final group in the final round for the first time in four events this year. 'Yesterday, I didn't hit a lot of fairways and I missed a lot of greens. Today, it was a lot more solid.'
 
Kung was most impacted by the weather delay. She waited 20 minutes on the tee at the ninth, her 18th, when play resumed and made a mess of the par-5 hole. Kung drove into the left rough, then had to pitch her second down the fairway to advance the ball. She hit a lob-wedge with her third shot but missed the green and could not get up and down for par, falling into a tie with Matthew at 10-under par.
 
'It's just one of those shots, it happens once in a while,' said Kung. 'It should be a perfect lob and I don't know what happened there and I shanked it. It was bad.'
 
The bogey ruined a wonderful round for the 21-year-old. Kung opened on the second nine at Las Vegas Country Club and birdied her first hole. She drained a five-footer at the 12th for birdie and closed her front nine with a two-putt birdie from 30 feet at the par-5 18th.
 
Kung holed a four-foot birdie putt at the first and collected back-to-back birdies at six and seven to reach 11-under. Then the storm rolled in and things went downhill for Kung.
 
'If we didn't have that suspension I would have hit my drive in the fairway because I was hitting it good all day,' said Kung. 'I'm sure I'm going to be thinking about it, but I try to throw that away.'
 
Matthew birdied the fourth hole from two feet and added another front-nine birdie at the par-5 ninth. She sank a 20-foot birdie at the par-5 10th but ran into trouble at the very next hole.
 
At the 11th, Matthew's drive missed the fairway and she was forced to punch out into the short grass. She failed to get up and down at the hole to fall to 8-under par.
 
Matthew hit a seven-iron to two feet to set up birdie at the par-3 14th, then made a 12-footer for birdie at 15 to polish off her round of 4-under-par 68.
 
'I am certainly driving it straighter and longer than I used to, but really I'm kind of trying to work on my short game and my putting at the moment,' said Matthew, who won the Hawaiian Ladies Open in 2001. 'That is where my weakness is at the moment. So I am working hard on that the last few months.'
 
Se Ri Pak (70), Michele Redman (65), Soo-Yun Kang (70), Akiko Fukushima (70) and Kate Golden (69) joined Sorenstam in a share of fifth at 5-under-par 139.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Takefuji Classic
  • Full coverage of the Takefuji Classic