Sun, Nov 21, 2004 - Page 22 News List

Sorenstam keeps fans in suspense

PRO GOLF TOUR Karrie Webb began to rally just as Annika Sorenstam was about to fade. But the top woman's player gathered herself for a late charge

AP , WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDAAP, SEVILLE, SPAINAP, KIAWAH ISLAND,SOUTH CAROLINAAP, PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Just when it looked like a bad day was about to get worse, Annika Sorenstam turned a good break into a birdie that changed everything in the season-ending ADT Championship on Friday.

Sorenstam kept pace with a steady charge from Karrie Webb, then pulled away with back-to-back birdies late in the second round for a 4-under 68 that set the 36-hole record at Trump International. She took a three-shot lead over Webb, Laura Diaz and Cristie Kerr.

"I've got a little lead, but not a comfortable lead at all," said Sorenstam, who was at 10-under 134. "On this golf course, it can change on one hole."

It changed for the better on the par-5 ninth.

Sorenstam was even par for her round, and her body language showed utter frustration -- she shook her head and slumped her shoulders. When she walked off the eighth green, she no longer had the lead. Then, her 7-wood from 214 yards on No. 9 sailed high and to the right, headed for trouble.

Webb, a two-time winner at the tournament, has avoided big numbers for two days and looked particularly sharp in her round of 69 that might have been better except for a few silly bogeys -- she three-putted from below the big ridge on No. 6 and missed the 12th green with a wedge. But she is driving it well and giving herself plenty of chances.

Diaz had a 68 and will play in the final group on Saturday with Sorenstam. That's not a bad place to be considering that Diaz wasn't even in the ADT Championship until she birdied her last two holes a week ago to finish second and earn enough money to get into the top 30 on the money list.

Englishmen Paul Casey and Luke Donald surged to a five-stroke lead in the second round of the team World Cup, shooting an 8-under-par 64 for a two-round total of 19-under 125 on Friday.

The Austrian team of Martin Wiegele and Markus Brier carded a 70, with a half dozen teams in a pack six strokes behind the leaders: South Africa (65), Sweden (67), Spain (68), Japan (69), Ireland (71) and the US (67).

Casey and Donald got rolling with four straight birdies starting at No. 3. In a streak through 14 holes, they birdied nine playing the more difficult foursomes (alternate shot) format.

England shot 11-under 61 on Thursday playing fourball (better ball) to trail co-leaders Ireland and Austria by one. On Friday, Ireland's Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington slipped to a 71.

Casey made all nine of his team's birdie putts -- all under 5m -- with sunny skies and a light breeze leaving the Real Club de Golf open to low scores.

"I actually felt I didn't play very well," Casey said.

The English had few problems. When they did, Donald saved pars with crucial putts.

After four straight birdies, Donald salvaged a par from 4m on No. 7. On 10, he saved par from 7m.

The little-know Austrian pair of Wiegele and Brier didn't buckle after a 60 on Thursday. They will play with the English in the last group on Saturday when the format returns to fourball (better ball).

For Ireland, which shot a 60 on Thursday, any chance of a decent round was ruined when Harrington found water on the 16th, leading to a double-bogey 7.

Oklahoma friends Bob Tway and Scott Verplank managed a 67. They know each other's game, playing almost every practice round together on the US PGA Tour.

Their round turned at No. 9, where Verplank hit a 3-wood to 5M, and Tway dropped the eagle putt.

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