Sun, Apr 01, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Ochoa recovers to lead at Nabisco

AFP , RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA

Paula Creamer hits a fairway shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship tournament in Rancho Mirage, California, on Friday.

PHOTO: AP

Mexico's Lorena Ochoa shrugged off a double bogey to post a second-round 71 on Friday and seize a share of the lead with Paula Creamer in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Ochoa, last year's LPGA Player of the Year who could supplant Annika Sorenstam as world No. 1 by capturing her first major title this week, started the day one shot off the lead.

Her round included five birdies along with two bogeys and the double bogey at 15 and gave her a two-round total of 140.

"I'm really happy being 4-under right now," Ochoa said. "I started on the back nine, and I was trying to get into the rhythm, hitting my driver, one left, one right. I didn't really know what to do."

"So I made one double bogey and two bogeys, so just being able to finish under par on this course really makes me feel good. The only thing that was important was being in a good position for the weekend, good position for tomorrow. I'm in a good position," she added.

Creamer fired a 67 to join Ochoa atop the leaderboard.

The 20-year-old American had five birdies in her bogey-free round.

"I hit the ball really good, gave myself a lot of chances," Creamer said. "I missed, I think, two fairways, one was really in the rough, one was the first cut. I think I hit almost every green."

"So I gave myself a lot of chances and we'll take it. But two more days left - that's a lot of golf," she added.

The pair had a one-shot lead over first-round leader Shi Hyun Ahn of South Korea (73) and Norway's Suzann Petersen (69).

South Korean Se Ri Pak fired a 70 for 142 and sole possession of fifth place.

Pak, whose 23 career LPGA victories include five major championships -- the LPGA Championship in 1998, 2002 and 2006, the US Open in 1998 and the Women's British Open in 2001, could complete a career Grand Slam this week.

Swedish superstar Sorenstam, however, continued to struggle, carding a 76 for a seven-over total of 151, making the cut with just two strokes to spare.

"I'm very disappointed and can not explain why it has not worked out this week," Sorenstam said. "I'm like sparkling water without the fizz. I gave 100 percent, but what can you do? I just have to hope that it is better over the weekend."

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