Sun, Sep 03, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Woods birdies for one-shot lead

GOLFAaron Baddeley was tied for the lead until a lapse of concentration slowed him down on the ninth hole, while Woods broke away at the 18th to snatch the leaderboard's top spot


England's Yasin Ali (66), Barry Hume of Scotland (67) and first-round joint leader Marcus Both (69) were three strokes off the pace.

Cristie Kerr grabbed a share of the lead, and Annika Sorenstam stayed in contention at the State Farm Classic on Friday.

Kerr shot an 8-under par 64 and was tied with Maria Hjorth at 12 under, one stroke ahead of Il Mi-chung, who had a 66, after the second round at The Rail Golf Club.

Lorena Ochoa (70) was five shots off the lead, with Sorenstam (68) at 6 under -- six shots back but still in striking distance.

Se Ri-pak, bothered lately by a neck injury, was 7-over for the tournament when she withdrew after nine holes.

Kerr, seeking her third victory this year, teed off on the 10th hole with Sorenstam and Ochoa. She was consistently in the fairway and birdied eight holes. That gave her 12 for the tournament, with no bogeys.

After seeing several birdie putts lip out or skid just past the hole in the first round, Kerr knocked in a 12-footer on the par-4 10th. She held her arms out and soaked in the cheers when she buried a 40-footer on the par-3 16th to go to 8-under. She also birdied the par-5 12th after chipping within two feet and the 14th, sinking a 15-foot putt.

On her back nine, Kerr birdied the third, fourth, sixth and seventh holes.

After a disappointing 2-under Thursday, Sorenstam got off to an ominous start when she hit her first shot wide right and into a bunker. Her second landed on the green, and she knocked in a 30-foot putt for birdie to go 3 under, pumping her right fist after the ball fell into the cup.

But she had trouble on the greens.

A 12-foot birdie putt on No. 12 stopped a foot short, and a 10-footer on the par-4 13th came up a few inches short.

She saved par on No. 14, when she knocked an 80-foot putt over a bump to within a foot of the hole, but a 5-footer for birdie on 15 lipped out. So did a short one on 16, which she bogeyed for the second straight day.

A birdie on 17 put Sorenstam back at 3 under. And three more followed on her back nine.

Her second shot on No. 8 landed in a bare spot about 10 feet beyond the fairway. An official allowed her to move the ball, and Sorenstam birdied the hole to go 6 under.

Hjorth, the first-round leader, started with birdies on No. 1 and No. 2 and had seven in all to go with two bogeys.

Defending champion Pat Hurst was 2-over and missed the cut.

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