Sorenstam Park Share Big Apple Lead


NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Annika Sorenstam put herself in familiar territory with a 7-under 64 Saturday to grab a share of the lead at the Sybase Big Apple Classic. Sorenstam's 54-hole total of 12-under-par 201 matched her with Gloria Park heading into the final round.
Hee-Won Han posted a 5-under 66 to finish alone in third at 10-under-par 203. She was followed by Karrie Webb, who finished at 8-under-par 205 for the tournament after a round of 66.
Sorenstam has already won six tournaments in 2002. On Sunday she will look for No. 7, and her third at the Big Apple Classic.
'When I came out on tour, I wanted to win one tournament and here I am 37 later. I've set new goals for myself though. I love the game more now and have raised my expectations,' said Sorenstam.
The Swede moved into third place after a 67 Friday, three shots behind overnight leader Kelli Kuehne. On Saturday, Sorenstam took to Wykagyl Country Club with the lead in sight.
She picked up her first birdie of the day at the sixth and then added a pair of birdies from the eighth to make the turn at minus-8.
Sorenstam ran into trouble with a bogey at the 10th but was unscathed as she torched the back nine for a share of first. At the 11th, Sorenstam hit a sand-wedge to 14 feet for birdie and later dropped a 9-iron inside four feet for birdie at the 13th.
At the par-5 15th, Sorenstam reached the green in two and took two putts for birdie to move to 10-under. Sorenstam hit her approach within 18 feet for birdie at the 17th and closed with a birdie at the par-5 last after she found a bunker with her second shot.
'I played great today and rolled some key putts in at the end,' said Sorenstam. 'It feels good to make some of the longer ones. I feel really good about that and right where I want to be again on Sunday. I've said it many times that I like this course, so I hope I keep playing like I had been.'
Park used a blistering round of her own to grab a share of first. The 22-year-old matched the course record with a bogey-free, 8-under-par 63.
She opened with a birdie at the first and added birdies at the fourth and sixth to make the turn at 7-under.
Park continued her fine play on the inward nine with a pair of birdies from the 12th. She added back-to-back birdies starting at the 15th and closed out her round with a tap-in birdie at the last to finish at 12-under.
'I was practicing really hard on my putting,' said Park. 'They didn't drop on the first round, but yesterday I got the feel of putting better. Today, I just make the putts. I managed the course really good today.'
Park is seeking her first win since the 2001 Williams Championship. Either way the Korean, who missed the cut in her two previous Big Apple appearances, will take something positive out of this week.
'It's only the third round today,' said Park. 'Tomorrow is another day, and I just play how I want to play. If I play good tomorrow and Annika plays better, it's her day. I just have to try the best I can do.'
Kuehne, who held a two-shot lead over Chris Johnson to start the round, struggled with a 73 Saturday to finish six shots off the pace at 6-under-par 207. She was joined by Diana D'Alessio, Nancy Scranton and Beth Daniel in a tie for fifth.
Defending champion Rosie Jones posted a 68 to finish in a tie for 14th at 3-under-par 210.
Full-field scores from the Sybase Big Apple Classic