Sun, Apr 17, 2005 - Page 23 News List

Wendy Ward leads after two rounds

AP , LAS VEGAS, NEVADAAP, HILTON HEAD ISLAND,SOUTH CAROLINA

Darren Clarke of Ireland looks down the third fairway during the second round of the MCI Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on Friday. Clarke leads by six shots.

PHOTO: AP

Wendy Ward had a scrambling 68 Friday and took a three-shot lead through two rounds of the Takefuji Classic.

Ward, looking for her fourth LPGA victory and first in nearly four years, was at 11-under 133.

Australia's Karrie Webb, who shared the opening-round lead with Ward, had a 71 Friday and was tied for second with Moira Dunn, who is winless in 10 years on the tour. Dunn had a 5-under 67 in the second round.

Amateur In-Bee Park, a 16-year-old South Korean and Las Vegas high school student, had a 71 that left her in a group four shots off the lead.

Lorena Ochoa vaulted from a tie for 96th into a tie for fourth with a 9-under 63.

The round was a career best for the native of Mexico, and the lowest in the three years the tournament has been played at The Las Vegas Country Club.

Also at 7-under with one round to go in the 54-hole tournament were Kim Mi-hyun, and Nicole Perrot.

Kim, a South Korean who has won four events in her previous six years on the tour, shot a 71 as did Perrot, a Chilean playing in her 10th LPGA tournament.

Defending champion Cristie Kerr and 2003 winner Candie Kung just survived the cut, with scores of 144 and higher out for the final round. Both were at 1-under 143, Kerr with a second-round 71 and Kung with a 70.

Ward, a native of San Antonio, has credited a new outlook, thanks to her sports psychologist, for the improvement in her game.

Although Ward's second round included a drive into trees and a bogey on her 10th hole of the day, the par-4, 400-yard 1st, her accurate iron play put her in close range for five birdies.

Darren Clarke came up with a second straight 65 and took a six-stroke lead after two rounds of the MCI Classic, a 12-under 130 that was a career best for 36 holes and one shot off the tournament record.

Australian Peter Lonard had flirted with 59 late in his opening round before finishing with a career-best 62 to lead by two shots. He then ballooned to a 74 and was tied for second with Patrick Sheehan, who had a second-round 70.

Tom Kite was disqualified for the first time in his 34-year US PGA Tour career after signing an incorrect scorecard.

Kite signed for a par 4 on the eighth hole instead of his bogey 5 during a round of 76, according to tour spokesman Phil Stambaugh. Kite's 36-hole total of 6-over 148 was one shot off the cut. Kite had not been disqualified in his previous 705 events since he first played a US PGA Tour event in 1971.

The dry, sunny conditions -- not seen in the nine US tour events this year that faced some sort of weather delay -- have firmed up Harbour Town's small greens, making it nearly impossible to get close to the pin.

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