Ward Fires Course Record to Lead in Ohio


Wendy Ward fired her career-low round of 10-under-par 62 Saturday to move out to a four-shot lead through two rounds of the Wendy's Championship for Children. Her 10 birdie, no bogey effort broke the course record of 63 at New Albany Country Club, a mark set only hours earlier by Scotland's Mhairi McKay.
Ward also set the 36-hole tournament record with a two-day total of 17-under 127, bettering the previous record by seven shots.
Moira Dunn shot 64 -- a score that would have tied the course record at the start of the day -- for second place at 13-under, while Annika Sorenstam, the winner of the inaugural edition of this event in 1999, carded a 65 to finish alone in third at minus-12.
Michelle McGann grabbed sole possession of fourth place at 10-under 134 with a 4-under 68 Saturday.
Ward made four birdies on the front nine and just missed out on a chance at an eagle when she two-putted from 10 feet for birdie at the par-5 3rd. After reeling off three straight birdies to begin the back side, Ward hit a wedge to 20 feet then rolled in the putt for birdie to get to 15-under par.
Her second shot to the par-five 16th landed in a greenside bunker but she managed to blast out to a foot for a tap-in birdie. At No. 17, Ward closed out her scoring with another 20-footer for birdie.
Click here for Wendy Ward's scorecard.
Ward, bogey-free after two days with just 41 putts to her name, doesn't believe that the low scores this week are simply the result of the New Albany course playing too easy.
'It's not as easy as maybe what you see the scores are,' said Ward, who is chasing her first victory since winning the 1998 Hawaiian Ladies Open. 'I would hope the golfing community and world would say, 'Those girls are playing great golf this week,' instead of focusing on maybe the course being too easy. There's some tough holes out there.'
Dunn, seeking her first win, birdied three straight holes heading into the turn, then eagled the 16th before finishing with a pair of birdies to complete the best 18 holes of her career.
'I'm really comfortable this week,' Dunn admitted. 'My swing feels really good. Just hope I can keep that feel going for tomorrow.'
Sorenstam, who shot an LPGA record 59 at the Standard Register PING in March, didn't come close to that score Saturday but did miss out on a better round by posting her only bogey after failing to hole a three-footer for par.
'Maybe let a few putts slip away. Other than that, I'm as pleased as I can be with my game,' she said. 'Then again, I'm so far away from Wendy. I'm amazed how good she has played. You shoot 7-under, you don't expect to be five behind. I have to charge again tomorrow.'
If anyone can make up the ground in one day it's Sorenstam, who completed the biggest comeback in LPGA history when she came from 10 strokes down in the final round to win The Office Depot event in Los Angeles in April. Although she defeated Mi Hyun Kim in a playoff for the title that week, Sorenstam needed a final-nine implosion by second-round leader Pat Hurst to get into position to go to extra holes.
She doesn't expect that to be the case on Sunday.
'I wouldn't expect [Ward] to fall back too much. But hopefully I can get off to a hot start and climb up on the leaderboard. We'll see what happens after that.'
McKay, tied for 75th at beginning of the day, opened with a couple of long birdie putts before sinking a six-footer for eagle at the third. She added birdies at the fifth and sixth to make her way out in 30.
Though she climbed to 10-under on the day with four birdies through six holes of the back nine, McKay parred Nos. 16 and 17, then bogeyed the last after pulling her drive left off the tee.
McKay's 63 -- also a career best -- at the time set the course record by eclipsing the 64 established by Kristal Parker in 1999 and matched by Leta Lindley in Friday's opening round.
McKay stands tied for fifth place at 9-under 135 with Meg Mallon (65), Karrie Webb (68), Rosie Jones (69), Rachel Teske (69) and Tracy Hanson (69).
Defending champion Lorie Kane is knotted in 16th place at minus-six.
Full-field scores from the Wendy's Championship for Children