Three Share Lead at Chick-fil-A Charity Championship


Defending champion Sophie Gustafson fired a 7-under 65 on Saturday to join Heather Daly-Donofrio and Beth Daniel at the top of the leaderboard after two rounds of the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship. The trio finished at 9-under 135 and has a one-shot lead over Catriona Matthew and Annika Sorenstam.
Nancy Scranton and Heather Bowie share sixth place at minus-seven.
Gustafson started strong in round two with an eagle-three at the par 5 3rd. She nailed a 7-iron to 12 feet and converted the eagle effort. She took advantage of the next par-6, the 6th, when she played a four-iron to 15 feet and once again ran home the eagle putt.
The Swede added two more birdies on her front nine, thanks to a pair of 25-footers at the seventh and eighth holes. Gustafson carded a 6-under 30 on her opening nine.
Gustafson parred the next eight holes on the back but left the course with a birdie at the par-5 closing hole when she chipped close on her third shot.
'I knew I left a few shots out there yesterday,' said Gustafson. 'I have a lot of good memories here and I am just trying to build on that.'
Daly-Donofrio mixed nine birdies and three bogeys on Saturday for a 66. She has yet to win in four years on the tour and only once was she ever in contention. That came at the 1998 Friendly's Classic where she finished fifth.
'I'm sure I will be nervous,' Daly-Donofrio said. 'I'm not going to deny it. But it's going to a great experience.'
Daniel, a member of the LPGA Hall of Fame with 32 career victories, did not start well with a bogey at the second hole when she mishit a flop shot. She took a bogey but rebounded with a two-putt birdie at the next hole.
At the sixth, Daniel hit a five-wood to the fringe and then chipped to three feet where she made birdie. She added another with a 15-foot birdie at the eighth but dropped a shot at No. 9.
Daniel made back-to-back birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 and then joined the group at the top with a 12-foot birdie at the last.
'I scored about as well as could be expected with the way I hit the ball,' said Daniel, who last won in 1995.
Sorenstam climbed up the leaderboard with three front-nine birdies but got within one when she two-putted for birdie at the 18th.
Sorenstam became the first woman golfer in 32 years to come out on top in four consecutive events when she won the Office Depot in early April. Mickey Wright achieved the feat in both 1962 and '63, while fellow Hall of Famer Kathy Whitworth reeled off four straight triumphs in 1969.
'I have a shot at it,' said Sorenstam, who also has two runner-up finishes in 2001. 'That's all you want.'
Dottie Pepper and Sara Sanders, the co-leaders after the first round, struggled on Saturday. Sanders carded a 1-over 73 while Pepper made it around in 74. Sanders is tied for 12th at five-under while Pepper is tied for 19th at minus-four.
Full-field scores from the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship