Pak Out Front Annika Two Back


THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Se Ri Pak carded a 4-under 68 Friday to take a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the Samsung World Championship. Pak completed 36 holes, all on Friday, at 7-under-par 137.
Annika Sorenstam was the big story on Friday however, as she completed her first round at 2-under-par 70. She officially became a member of the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame at the completion of her round.
The Swede came back in her afternoon round to record a 3-under 69 and she shares second place with Grace Park (69), Angela Stanford (67), Beth Daniel (69) and Rachel Teske (69), a two-time winner this season, at 5-under-par 139.
After her morning round, Sorenstam had completed the first round of her 15th event of 2003, which was the final requirement for admittance into the Halls.
Sorenstam, who closed her first round with a solid par after her tee ball found water, began the afternoon session on the back nine at The Players Course at The Woodlands with four straight pars.
The 33-year-old then sank a two-foot birdie putt at the par-3 14th to get to 3-under. She stumbled to a three-putt bogey at the 18th, her first over the opening 27 holes.
'I got a little upset on 18 when I missed that short par putt, but I felt like I was hitting it pretty good,' said Sorenstam. 'I just wasn't making anything. Then suddenly, I made everything. It is a funny game.'
On the front side, the McDonald's LPGA Championship and Women's British Open winner caught fire. She birdie the par-5 first from five feet and came right back with a birdie at the next. Sorenstam, the defending champion, made it three straight when she sank a 26-footer for birdie at the third.
She briefly climbed to 6-under with a birdie on the par-4 fifth. However, she faltered to a bogey at the next before capping her round with three straight pars.
'It was a long, long day,' Sorenstam said. 'I am surprised we got finished. I was expecting to come back Saturday and finish three or four holes. But it is a nice surprise to finish.'
The LPGA requires players to accumulate 27 points for the Hall of Fame. A player receives one point for a victory, two for a major championship, one point for being player of the year and one point for winning the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average.
In that scoring system, Sorenstam has tallied 63 points with her 47 victories, including six major championships, five Player of the Year honors and also five scoring titles.
'When I came out here, I didn't even know if I could win a single tournament,' said Sorenstam. 'Here I am 47 wins later and of course I am surprised at how quickly I qualified. The competition is very tough and I think it gets tougher every year.
'I have pushed myself and done better every year, and been able to keep up with the competition. It is incredible the things that I've done and the things that I remember from being out there.'
Pak, who was paired with Sorenstam, obviously was not distracted by the fanfare surrounding her playing partner. Pak opened her second round with a short birdie on the par-4 11th. She three-putted for a bogey at the following hole to slide back to minus-3.
The South Korean came back to birdie the par-5 15 and closed out the opening nine with a seven-foot birdie putt on No. 17. Around the turn, Pak notched back-to-back birdies from the second that got her to 7-under.
Pak had a chance for a bigger lead, but she dropped a shot at the par-3 eighth after missing the green with a 5-iron. She did come back with a 10- foot birdie putt on the ninth for a two-shot leading heading to the third round.
'I really like where I am at right now,' said Pak, who has three wins this season. 'It was a solid day. The first round, I struggled a little bit in the fairways, but in the afternoon it was perfect. Every single shot was great and my putting was solid.'
Juli Inkster, who won the Evian Masters and the Corning Classic this year, stands alone in seventh place at 4-under-par 140 after a 3-under 69 in the second round.
Sophie Gustafson, Lorie Kane and Cristie Kerr share eighth place at 3-under-par 141 with Meg Mallon one shot further back at minus-2.
The entire 20-player field completed 36 holes on Friday after Thursday's first round play was washed out by heavy rain. There is no cut in the tournament so all 20 advance to the final two rounds.
Related Links:
  • Full-field scores from the Samsung World Championship
  • Full coverage - Samsung World Championship