Sun, Jul 13, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Beth Daniel leads in Canadian Open

LPGA At 6-under 138, Daniel holds a one-shot lead over Janice Moodie after two rounds. Juli Inkster, Kim Saiki and first-round leader Heather Bowie were at 140

AP , VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Janice Moodie of Scotland blasts out of a bunker on the third hole during the second round of the LPGA Canadian Women's Open in Vancouver on Friday.

PHOTO: AP

With 23 years and 32 wins on the LPGA Tour, Beth Daniel knows how to handle the pressure of leading a tournament heading into the weekend.

So it shouldn't be surprising Daniel wasn't going to change her approach after a birdie on her final hole Friday capped a 3-under 69. It gave her a one-shot lead over Janice Moodie after two rounds of the Canadian Women's Open.

Daniel, at 6-under 138, wasn't canceling plans to join a handful of other players at a Dixie Chicks concert Friday night. And the 46-year-old star certainly wasn't thinking about her chances to win the event improving when Annika Sorenstam withdrew after six holes Thursday.

"For me, it doesn't change one thing," said Daniel, who has close to US$7 million in career winnings, but hasn't won since 1995. "It doesn't change the way I'm going to play golf, it doesn't change the golf course, it doesn't change what I have to do."

All Daniel has to do is continue hitting fairways and not get frustrated on a surprisingly tough 6,389-yard layout at the Point Grey Golf and Country Club. She found the fairway on 25 of 28 holes, the best mark in the field, which might help explain why she was getting upset with a lot of pars.

"I was starting to get a little frustrated with myself, because I thought I should have made more birdies," she said. "But I think it's that sort of golf course that you feel you should be burning it up, but nobody is.''

That was especially true Friday, when the wind picked up, the greens firmed up and the scores went up. Only 18 players were under par in the second round on the tight, tree-lined layout.

Daniel hit a cut 3-wood to 3m for an eagle on No. 3 and then had a tap-in birdie on the next hole.

"That combination was pretty much my whole round," said Daniel, who had a bogey on No. 6, but made up for it with a 2m birdie on the par-5 18th. "I actually hit the ball better yesterday, but that's how golf is. I hit enough shots out there to make an eagle and two birdies and then I stayed pretty steady from then on."

Moodie was atop the leaderboard most of the day before a bogey on her final hole dropped her one shot behind Daniel. Moodie's 68 was the low round Friday.

"I played very, very solid; nothing terribly long or anything, but some nice putts," said Moodie, who missed a short par putt on the tough par-4 ninth to fall out of the lead. "My only bad hole was the 9th, but I think that was everybody's bad hole."

Juli Inkster (72), Kim Saiki (70) and first-round leader Heather Bowie (74) were at 140. Laura Davies (72) led a group of four at 3 under, but only 18 players were below par after two rounds.

"The wind is swirling out there," Inkster said. "I think it's playing pretty tough."

Bowie was cruising with the lead at 7 under until an errant drive and poor approach shot turned into a triple-bogey 7 on the 401-yard 14th. She added another bogey before a birdie on No. 18 put her back at 4 under.

"It was just the one hole, and other than that I would have been under par on the day," Bowie said.

Canadian star Lorie Kane missed the cut. She followed a 73 with a 78 Friday and broke her putter on her way up the 18th fairway.

She broke into tears at the start of her first interview attempt. She walked away from reporters, but returned later and apologized to the fans that saw her break her club.

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