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Sorenstam Erratic But Leading

LOS ANGELES -- Annika Sorenstam fired a 4-under-par 68 Friday to take a two-stroke lead at the Office Depot Championship, with the opening round suspended due to darkness. Sorenstam is two shots clear of Cindy Figg-Currier.
Lorena Ochoa, Yu Ping Lin, Stephanie Louden and Alison Nicholas share third place at 1-under-par 71.
Sorenstam began her round on the back nine of El Caballero Country Club. She struggled out of the gate with a bogey at the par-4 11th. Sorenstam recovered that shot with a birdie at the par-4 13th.
The four-time major winner then got a big boost on the 14th. Sorenstam holed a 9-iron from 129 yards out for an eagle that moved her to minus-2. However, she faltered with a bogey at the next. Sorenstam quickly bounced back with a birdie at the par-3 16th.
Sorenstam moved to minus-4 when she chipped-in for eagle at the par-5 17th that capped an opening-nine 32.
'It was a little bit of an up-and-down round I must say, especially on my first nine,' said Sorenstam. 'I hit some good shots today, I really did. It's a tough golf course, you have to place the shots on the right side of the green, and I think I did that today. And therefore I had a chance to make either eagle or birdie.'
On the front nine, Sorenstam played more consistently. She birdied the par-5 first, but bogeyed the next as she could not get up-and-down from a green-side bunker. From there, she parred the final seven holes to take a two-shot lead to the clubhouse.
'I didn't back up on purpose,' Sorenstam said. 'I actually hit the pin on No. 5 and I thought I made another eagle there, another duce, but I hit the pin and it came back about 30 feet. I had a good birdie opportunity on No. 6. It was probably seven feet for birdie. So I didn't make them on the backside.'
Figg-Currier notched three birdies and one bogey on the front nine to give her second place. She opened with a birdie at the par-5 first when she chipped to within four feet.
Figg-Currier could not hold the momentum however as she left her second shot short at the next and was unable to get up-and-down for par. She notched back-to-back birdies from the fifth.
Around the turn, Figg-Currier parred the first seven holes on the back side. She then two-putted for birdie at the par-5 17th. She dropped back to minus-2 with a bogey at the last after her drive found a bunker.
'I had a little hiccup on the last hole, but finished under-par on this course,' said Figg-Currier. 'The winds were pretty constantly blowing. It puts a lot of value on a lot of different things.'
Heather Bowie, Tina Barrett, Natalie Gulbis, Danielle Ammaccapane and Lorie Kane are tied for seventh at even-par 72.
Defending champion Se Ri Pak is among a large group tied at 1-over-par 73.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Office Depot Championship
  • Full coverage of the Office Depot Championship