Sorenstam Alone in Second at Nabisco

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Patricia Meunier-Lebouc posted a 4-under 68 to take the lead at the halfway point of the Kraft Nabisco Championship Friday. Meunier-Lebouc finished at 6-under-par 138, two strokes clear of overnight leader Annika Sorenstam.
 
'I have the chance to go into the third day leading the tournament, the major,' said Meunier-Lebouc. 'Life is just an experience. I just want to learn from it.'
 
Meunier-Lebouc was two shots behind Sorenstam to start the second round under windy conditions at the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club. She played alongside the two-time defending champion and made her presence known with a pair of birdies starting at the first to tie Sorenstam in the lead.
 
The Frenchwoman hit a 6-iron to three feet for a birdie at the fifth but struggled with a bogey at the very next hole. At the par-4 seventh, Meunier-Lebouc hit her second shot to four feet for a birdie to make the turn at minus-5.
 
Meunier-Lebouc chipped her third shot from off the green to nine feet at the par-5 11th to take the outright lead at 6-under and parred the remaining holes en route to the clubhouse lead.
 
'I know it's not going to be every single day now of my life like that,' said Meunier-Lebouc. 'That's the way it is in golf, when you feel it, you have to go for it. It's the only way to have fun.'
 
Sorenstam kept pace throughout the day and stood alongside Meunier-Lebouc atop the leaderboard at minus-6 thanks to a birdie at the 12th. The Swede, who is trying to become the first player to ever win this event in three consecutive years, stumbled down the stretch, however, with three bogeys over her next five holes.
 
'On the back, I think the wind picked up, then it would stop, then it would start over,' said Sorenstam. 'You kind of had to time it. That's not always so easy.'
 
At the par-5 last, Sorenstam hit a sand-wedge to nine feet for a closing birdie and a round of 72.
 
'For me personally, it was kind of like a roller-coaster a little bit,' said Sorenstam. 'Not a lot of pars, a lot of birdies, a lot of bogeys. I must say it was difficult today because the wind was swirling constantly on the front. It was very difficult to figure out what club to hit on certain holes.'
 
LPGA Tour rookie Lorena Ochoa finished three shots off the pace at 3-under-par 141. The 21-year-old picked up two birdies on the front nine and a five-foot birdie at the 11th moved her to 4-under.
 
Ochoa found trouble with a double-bogey at the par-4 15th and nearly dropped another shot at the very next hole. She managed to convert on a 14-foot putt to save par and hit her tee shot to three feet at the par-3 17th. Ochoa drained the putt on her way to a second-round 70.
 
'I did pretty good today, especially at the beginning,' said Ochoa. 'I feel pretty good. I'm playing really good on the distances with my second shot. That makes the golf course a little easier.'
 
Karen Stupples, Dorothy Delasin and Michele Redman finished one shot further back at 2-under-par 142. Se Ri Pak and Danielle Ammaccapane followed at 1- under-par 143.
 
Jenny Rosales, Maria Hjorth and Lorie Kane share ninth place at even-par 144.
 
Laura Davies, who can complete the career Grand Slam with a victory at this event, struggled with a 75 to finish at 1-over-par 145 along with Cristie Kerr, Donna Andrews and Catriona Matthew.
 
Michelle Wie chose a good spot to make her first cut on the LPGA Tour. The hard-hitting 13-year-old tallied one birdie and three bogeys to finish eight shots off the pace in a group at 2-over-par 146.
 
'I really didn't think about the cut. I just thought I wanted to shoot a certain score over four rounds,' said Wie. 'It was a little windy. The breezes were cool, so it wasn't that bad.'
 
Wie was joined by Leta Lindley, Akiko Fukushima, Dawn Coe-Jones, Michelle Ellis and Rosie Jones in a tie for 16th.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 10-over-par 154 with 79 players qualifying for the weekend. Among those who didn't make the grade were Grace Park and 16-year-old Naree Song.
 

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