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Sorenstam Maintains Top Spot

LOS ANGELES -- Annika Sorenstam struggled through the second round, but was able to card an even-par 72 to maintain her lead at the suspended Office Depot Championship. Sorenstam stands at 4-under-par 140, two strokes clear of Heather Bowie and Mi-Hyun Kim.
Play was suspended due to darkness with four players remaining on the course. Those players will return to the course between 6:30 and 7:00 AM local time to complete the second round.
Sorenstam sprinted out of the gate at El Caballero Country Club with four birdies over her first seven holes. She rolled in a 12-footer at the first, then a seven-footer at the third for her first two birdies. Sorenstam followed that with another birdie at the par-4 fourth.
'Everything was going my way (to start),' Sorenstam said. 'Everything was down the middle and close to the flag. It felt really good, but I have played in this game long enough to know that you can't have those thoughts because you know then it will grab you and that's what happened. I am glad I got off to a good start.'
The Swede capped her early run by draining an eight-footer at the seventh. However, she two-putted for bogey at the eighth and ninth to make the turn at minus-6.
On the back nine, Sorenstam two-putted for par four times in the first six holes on the back side. She two-putted for bogey the 14th after her second shot came up short of the green. The four-time major winner three-putted from 11 feet at the 16th to fall back to even-par for her round.
She finished with a pair of pars.
'I thought today was very tricky,' said Sorenstam. 'I mean the wind is strong and it's one of those days when the wind is swirling a little bit. You stand over the shot and feel no wind, then 30 seconds later there is wind. So I thought it was difficult today.'
Sorenstam, who won 11 times on the LPGA Tour last season, is searching for her first win of 2003.
'Tomorrow is what counts. I play good tomorrow, and I'm right there,' said Sorenstam. 'I have a chance to win tomorrow. Just being in contention is what I look forward to every week.'
Bowie tied Sorenstam atop the leaderboard on two occasions, but was unable to stay there. Bowie posted three birdies on the front nine and joined Sorenstam in first place with a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-4 13th.
However, Bowie was unable to get up-and-down at the following hole and the bogey dropped her one shot back. She regained that shot at the 15th with her final birdie of the day.
Bowie shared the lead with Sorenstam for one hole, before closing with back- to-back bogeys to finish in second place.
'I have to say I had very low expectations coming into the week because I missed the cut last year,' said Bowie. 'I'm glad to be where I am, even though I didn't finish as well as I could have.'
Kim shares second place at minus-2, but she was unable to complete her final hole before play was halted by darkness. She is on pace to tie for the best score of the second round.
Kim, who started on the back nine, birdied Nos. 10, 13, 14 and 17 to move to minus-2 for the tournament. She continued her roll with another birdie at the first. However, she bogeyed the par-4 fifth to fall back into a tie for second. She will complete her final hole Sunday morning.
Pat Hurst shot the round of the day, a 4-under round of 68, to climb into a tie for fourth place at 1-under-par 143. She is joined there by Alison Nicholas (72).
Defending champion Se Ri Pak (71) shares sixth place with Beth Daniel (71) at even-par 144.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Office Depot Championship
  • Full coverage of the Office Depot Championship