Skip to main content

Annika Trails Frenchwomand by a Stroke

Karine Icher of France completed her second round Saturday with a 6-under 66 to take sole possession of first place at the LPGA Corning Classic.
Icher was one of 62 players who did not complete their rounds on Friday because of a four-hour delay caused by a series of thunderstorms. Despite the short turnaround - play was halted around 8:30 p.m. Friday and resumed at 7:15 a.m. Saturday - Icher birdied the first two of her four remaining holes to move past Annika Sorenstam and Sherri Turner by one stroke. Icher was at 8-under 136.
Moira Dunn was alone in fourth at 6 under. Sung Ah Yim and Jimin Kang of South Korea, and first-round co-leader Sophie Gustafson were all another shot back. Yim had birdied No. 2, aced the third hole, and birdied the next two holes for a stunning rally that moved her to 6 under before play was halted, but she bogeyed her final hole of the round on Saturday to fall back.
When Sorenstam completed her second round tied for the lead, the horn sounded ending play as darkness fell.
That wasn't exactly what the rest of the field needed to hear. While 62 players would have to think about completing their rounds early Saturday, the best player in women's golf would have a good night's rest.
As if trying to beat Annika wasn't difficult enough.
'That's the good news. It's been a long day for a lot of us,' Sorenstam said Friday. 'For me to be able to finish will give me a peaceful evening and I can sleep in. It'll be nice. It should be a really long weekend for some players.'
Sorenstam shot a 4-under 68 to tie Turner. Seeking her fifth win in six starts this year, Sorenstam soared to the top of the leaderboard after a delay. She had a string of four straight birdies, but consecutive bogeys halted her momentum.
'I hit a lot of good shots at times, and then all of a sudden I hit a bad one,' said Sorenstam, who had two eagles, three birdies and four bogeys in her opening 69. 'I made a few bad swings coming in. Just a few swings got away from me.'
The 48-year-old Turner, the Corning winner 17 years ago, was appreciative of her early start, and not only because of the bad weather she missed. In her first four tournaments this year, she missed three cuts and tied for 51st.
'I definitely was glad I had an early start today because when you play well and you haven't played well in a while and you have more time to think about what you did, you don't really want to do that,' said Turner, whose opening 66 tied Gustafson for the lead and was her first under-par round of the year. 'I feel good about where my game is now. It's really nice, especially being here. I'm looking forward to the weekend. I think it will be fun.'
Sorenstam birdied the first two par-5s to move to 5 under, the second coming after a nice chip-and-roll to 3 feet as the rain began to fall. Play was halted after she parred No. 6, and when she emerged from the locker room after the stoppage, she made two pars before rolling in a 16-foot birdie putt at No. 9.
A fan yelled 'You go girl!' as the putt dropped, and that's exactly what Sorenstam did. A thundering drive at the 364-yard 10th, which she bogeyed in the opening round, and a soft second shot that landed 6 feet from the pin set up her second straight birdie.
At the par-3 11th, she drove within 5 feet and made the putt to reach 8 under. She rolled in a curving 9-foot putt for another birdie at the par-5 12th hole to take sole possession of the lead at 9 under.
Then came the bogeys. At the par-5 14th, she had to lay up in front of the elevated green with her second shot instead of going for the pin as she did when she eagled the hole on Thursday. She chunked her third shot and it spun back off the front edge of the green into the rough, then mis-hit a chip and two-putted from 12 feet.
At the 125-yard, par-3 15th hole, one of the easiest on the Corning Country Club course, Sorenstam's drive landed in the sand trap to the right of the green and she two-putted from 11 feet after blasting out of the sand. 'There's been some streaks in there,' Sorenstam said. 'Once I get a birdie or an eagle, I keep on going, but then it seems like when I make a bogey, I do the same thing.'
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.