Kerr Claims Share of State Farm Lead

By Sports NetworkSeptember 1, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 State Farm ClassicSPRINGFIELD, Ill. ' Cristie Kerr fired an 8-under 64 Friday to join Maria Hjorth atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the State Farm Classic at The Rail Golf Course.
Hjorth, who led by one after the first round, carded a 5-under 67 to join Kerr at 12-under-par 132. Il Mi Chung posted a 66 to move into third place at minus-11.
Nina Reis (68) and Seon-Hwa Lee (67) share fourth place at 10-under-par 134. Erica Blasberg, Sophie Gustafson and Young Kim are two strokes further back at minus-8.
Lorena Ochoa, who stands on atop the tour's money list, shares ninth at 7-under-par 137. The Mexican was even-par through 12 holes with a birdie and a bogey. Ochoa birdied the fourth and seventh to end at minus-7.
Women's world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam, who was paired with Ochoa for the first two rounds, is one stroke further back at minus-6 and she is tied for 12th. She birdied the 10th, but gave that stroke back as she bogeyed the 16th for the second day in a row.
Sorenstam atoned for that error with a birdie on 17. Around the turn, she climbed the leaderboard with birdies on four, five and eight.
Kerr started on the back nine and knocked a sand-wedge to 12 feet at the 10th. She rolled in that putt, then chipped to 2 feet at the 12th and knocked that in to move to minus-6.
The 28-year-old birdied the 14th, then drained a 35-footer for birdie on 16. After four straight pars around the turn, Kerr sank a 7-foot birdie effort on the third.
Kerr, who was paired with Ochoa and Sorenstam, came right back on No. 4 as she got up and down for birdie from right of the putting surface. She collected back-to-back birdies from the sixth to move to minus-12.
'I didn't hit it very well on Thursday, frankly,' stated Kerr. 'I've been working on some things with my coach and that helped my ball-striking today. I putted well too.'
Hjorth got off to a fast start with birdies on one and two, both from inside 8 feet. She got up and down for birdie on the par-5 fifth, then drained a 15-footer for birdie on No. 5.
The Swede missed the green at the par-3 seventh and tripped to a bogey that dropped her to minus-10. Hjorth traded a birdie for bogey from the 12th.
Hjorth got back to minus-11 thanks to a birdie on the par-4 14th. She dropped her approach 6 feet from the cup at the 17th and converted that birdie try to join Kerr in the lead.
'I did not hit the as well today as I did on Thursday,' Hjorth admitted. 'But I also made a few putts that were a little bit longer. I'm really looking forward to going out there with a share of the lead. It's going to be fun.'
Ochoa was joined in ninth by Kyeong Bae and Julieta Granada. Sorenstam shares 12th with Angela Stanford, Lee Ann Walker-Cooper, Tracy Hanson, Brittany Lang and Annie Young.
The cut line fell at 1-under-par 143 with 70 players moving on to the weekend. Among those missing the cut was 2005 champion Pat Hurst.
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