Sorenstam Soars to the Lead


2005 McDonaldHARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- Annika Sorenstam posted a 5-under 67 on Friday to move into the lead through two rounds of the McDonald's LPGA Championship. Sorenstam completed 36 holes at 9-under-par 135, two strokes clear of Laura Davies.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam has made only one bogey through two rounds.
Natalie Gulbis, who shared the opening-round lead with Davies and Laura Diaz, managed a 1-under 71 at Bulle Rock Golf Course to finish three shots off the pace at 6-under-par 138. Diaz was one shot further back at 5-under-par 139 along with Moira Dunn, Tina Fischer, Il Mi Chung and Marisa Baena.
Sorenstam has won five times on the LPGA Tour this year and she has shown no signs of slowing down halfway through the season's second major. She won the Kraft Nabisco Championship by eight strokes and is capable of pulling away from any field at any time, putting the single season grand slam in her sights.
'I'm obviously very happy where I'm at and the way I'm playing,' said Sorenstam. 'I could not have asked for a better start. I'm very pleased so far.'
Sorenstam parred her first four holes on Friday before a birdie at the par-4 fifth. Sorenstam then birdied the par-3 seventh and added a birdie at the par-4 ninth to reach 7 under around the turn.
The two-time defending champion found trouble with a bogey at the par-5 11th, but countered at the par-4 14th after her second shot stopped within 2 feet of the hole. Sorenstam tapped in for birdie and played her approach inside 4 feet for another birdie at the par-4 16th to take the outright lead.
At the par-3 17th, Sorenstam dropped her tee shot inside 2feet and kicked in the birdie try to extend her advantage.
Davies, the 1994 champion, started on the back side and bogeyed the 11th. She came back with a birdie at the following hole, however, and tallied an eagle at the par-4 16th to get to 7 under. Davies added a birdie at the 17th, but she gave that shot back with a bogey at the 18th.
The 41-year-old recovered with a birdie at the par-4 first. She stumbled to a bogey at the fourth, but rolled in an 18-foot putt for a birdie at the fifth. Davies dropped another shot with a bogey at the sixth and parred her way in for a round of 70.
'You still feel like you're going to win,' said Davies, who would become eligible for the LPGA Hall of Fame with a victory this week. 'You can always do something to change it and get in a position to have a win.'
Gulbis landed her tee shot inside 6 feet for a birdie at the par-3 third, but she struggled to a bogey at the fifth. She responded with a birdie at the par-5 eighth to make the turn at 6 under.
The 22-year-old had several birdie chances on the inward half, but was unable to convert on multiple occasions. Her second shot to the 14th stopped within 5 feet of the hole, but her birdie try hit the cup and lipped out.
Gulbis had another birdie putt at the 17th, but her ball stopped just short of the hole. She tapped in for par and parred the last to finish alone in third place.
'I'm definitely in a good spot and hit the ball well again today,' said Gulbis. 'I'll try to carry that over the weekend.'
Amateur Michelle Wie collected two birdies and a bogey for a round of 71 to share ninth place with Nicole Perrot at 4-under-par 140.
'I feel like I'm in a good position now,' said Wie. 'My game feels solid.'
Rosie Jones, Paula Creamer, Liselotte Neumann, Young Kim and Meena Lee are knotted at 3-under-par 141.
Karrie Webb, who became eligible for the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame on Thursday, made the cut on the number at 5-over-par 149. Se Ri Pak and Dorothy Delasin are among those who will miss the weekend.
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - McDonald's LPGA Championship
  • Full Coverage - McDonald's LPGA Championship