Webb Gustafson Share Lead

By Associated PressMay 30, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ginn Tribute Hosted by AnnikaCHARLESTON, S.C. -- Karrie Webb continued to show off her Hall of Fame style Friday at the Ginn Tribute'and just in time, Annika Sorenstam did, too.
Webb shot a 66 and shared the lead at 13-under with Sophie Gustafson (65) after two rounds of the LPGA tournament.
Sorenstam also had a 66, her lowest score in six career rounds at RiverTowne Country Club, and moved from a tie for 60th Thursday into a tie for eighth.
Sorenstam was seven shots behind, but at least she still was part of the tournament that she hosts'something that looked doubtful midway through Fridays round.
Im happy with the way I played, said Sorenstam, like Webb a member of the LPGA Hall of Fame. Im pleased. I made some putts and I couldve gone lower.
Sorenstam has had her troubles playing as tournament host.
In 2007, the Ginn Tribute was her first event back from nearly two months with back and neck injuries. Predictably, she struggled and tied for 36th, closing in very un-Annika-like fashion with a 74-76 on the weekend.
This time, she dug herself a hole Thursday with a bogey and triple bogey in her first five holes and was seven shots off the lead.
The tournament lost the worlds best player when Lorena Ochoa withdrew to be with her uncle, who died in Mexico, according to Ochoas Web site.
Losing Sorenstam would have been an additional blow to the second-year event, and that seemed likely with Sorenstam stuck on even par and without a birdie through eight holes Friday.
Then Sorenstam turned on the game thats won her three LPGA Tour titles this season, and 72 in her career. She had birdies on six of her final 10 holes, a charge that had her focused on just one thing.
I am thinking about playing well on the weekend, she said.
Thats a must if Sorenstam hopes to catch Webb and Gustafson, who finished with a tournament record-low 131 through 36 holes.
Teresa Lu (67) and Inbee Park (68) were next, tied at 9-under. Suzann Pettersen (65), defending champ of next weeks major, the LPGA Championship, was in a group of three another stroke behind.
Webb, whos got 35 LPGA Tour wins of her own, made eagle on the par-5 third hole for the second straight round and added six birdies to stay on top. It was her best best LPGA two-round total since starting the 2005 Wendys Championship at 133.
Webb fell two shots behind Gustafson after her first bogey of the tournament, then reeled off three straight birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th holes'Webb started on the back nine'to again move in front.
Another mistake on the easy par-3 second cost Webb another bogey and again put her two behind Gustafson.
Once more, Webb bounded back. She stuck a 3-wood about 18-feet away on the third and rolled home the eagle putt. Two holes later, Webb landed a 7-iron within 2 feet for a birdie, then converted a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 6.
Webb likes her play and position for the weekend.
I havent shot 65-66 consecutively for quite some time, said Webb, whos won 35 LPGA Tour events but none since 2006. Im not counting my chickens, of course, but I like the position Im in.
Gustafsons also pleased after her lowest round of the season. A runner up to Ochoa at the Sybase, Gustafson hadnt felt confident in her game during practice at RiverTowne this week.
Even after her opening 66, Gustafson wasnt comfortable with her play. That changed on Friday, although Gustafson cant explain why.
Its better than after yesterdays round, she said. It was much more solid today.
Gustafson birdied two of her final three holes, the seventh and the ninth, to tie Webb. ^Divots: Defending champion Nicole Castrale (144) was among the 75 golfers who made cut at even par. Among those who didnt was last weeks LPGA Corning Classic winner Leta Lindley, who finished 2-over. Laura Davies turned things around at the par-3 17th. A day after taking a quadruple bogey 7, Davies knocked in a short putt for birdie. Davies, though, missed the cut at 6-over.
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