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.