Sun, Nov 16, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Han Hee-won and Dorothy Delasin all tied up at top


Han Hee-won and Dorothy Delasin shot 1-under-par 71s to share the lead Friday after the second round of the LPGA Tournament of Champions.

The high winds of a day earlier subsided, but conditions remained difficult because the greens were firmer and faster, leaving only the co-leaders under par after 36 holes at Magnolia Grove's Crossings.

Han and Delasin have 36-hole totals of 143, a stroke better than Lorie Kane and Kim Mi-hyun. Kane shot a 74 after an opening round of 70. Kim, battling a sore neck and back, came in with a 68 -- the low score of the tournament by two shots.

"The greens are just really firm and fast, so it's just kind of hard to judge if the club in your hand is going to bite or release," Delasin said. "You have a lot of downhill putts that you can't be aggressive with so you just tap it to the hole, two-putt and get out of there.

"The wind wasn't blowing, but it was playing just as tough as it did yesterday. It's good because you have to bring your best golf out there."

Delasin is trying to play her way into the top 30 on the money list and qualify for next week's season-ending Tour Championship in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is No. 33 on the money list and needs to finish fourth or better to make the top 30.

"I can't get too excited," Delasin said. "We've still got two more rounds of golf, so I'm just going to go out there and play my hardest. Either way, my plane fare is going to be pretty expensive unless I can sweet-talk somebody into a lower price."

Delasin moved into a share of the lead by making birdies on three of the last five holes. She hit an 8-iron five feet from the pin at the par-4 14th, then two-putted for another birdie on the par-5 16th.

She followed that with a 7-iron to five feet on the par-3 17th to join Han under par. Han also birdied the 17th to go under par, hitting a 5-iron five feet from the flag.

Skins game

Women's World No. 1 Annika Sorenstam defeated three men -- including 2001 US Open champion Retief Goosen -- to lead on the opening day of the US$180,000 Tiger Skins exhibition tournament at the Tanah Merah Golf and Country Club Saturday.

Sorenstam's two skins on the par-five 451m 2nd and the par-3 182m 5th hole were worth US$5,000 and US$15,000 respectively. Defending champion Goosen of South Africa, with US$5,000 on the opening hole, was the only other player to win a skin.

The other two players in the two-day event were Sweden's Jesper Parnevik and local pro Lam Chih Bing.

Sorenstam rolled in an eagle on the 2nd from over 6m, and she said making that put her at ease playing with male professionals again after a five-month break.

"I'm always nervous ... That one skin [on the second], it felt comfortable to make eagle," said Sorenstam.

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