Sorenstam nearly perfect after second-round

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The Independent Online

One of the things defending champion Annika Sorenstam loves about the course at the New Albany Country Club are the big, smooth greens.

One of the things defending champion Annika Sorenstam loves about the course at the New Albany Country Club are the big, smooth greens.

Sorenstam hit 16 of them in regulation on Friday on her way to shooting a 4-under-par 68 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the New Albany Golf Classic in Ohio.

Even though Sorenstam's bogey-free round gave the Swedish star six straight rounds in the 60s on the course, she was disappointed with her putting.

"I wasn't really happy because I had a lot of opportunities," she said. "Some were a little longer obviously, but once you are on the green they are so smooth there is a good chance."

Sorenstam, a five-time winner this year, had a 7-under 137 total. Wendy Ward (70), Dina Ammaccapane (70) and Shani Waugh (68) were a stroke back.

On Friday, Sorenstam's drives hit the fairways and her iron shots nestled close to the pins. She started the day with a 16-foot birdie putt on No. 10, but had to settle for par on the next dozen holes after missing several birdie chances.

Sorenstam, who won last year's inaugural tournament by three-strokes with a 19-under total, said the course seems as forgiving as last year.

"I don't see any hazards here, I just see a big fairway and I just see a big green and that is what makes it so fun to go out and just swing at the flag," she said. "I even think I could have had a few shots less. That is how comfortable I feel out there."

After a birdie on the fifth hole, Sorenstam reached the green at the par-5 sixth hole in two shots and two-putted for birdie. She birdied the eighth hole after hitting a sand wedge within 4 feet.

"For some reason the course sets up really well for me - the design of the holes, the lanes, just everything," Sorenstam said. "I told my caddie after the round that I wanted to keep going - things are going so well."

Waugh said the thought of Sorenstam, who is second on the LPGA's career money list, feeling invincible when she plays in New Albany bothers her.

"It's scary for us if she thinks like that," she said.

After making birdie on 18 to go to 6 under, Waugh still likes her chances.

"I have had some luck today. I chipped in and holed a putt from the back edge of the green," she said. "So I think so far things have been going my way."

Ammaccapane, who opened with a 68, birdied four of her first eight holes, but fell back on the back nine.

Ward also started out strong with four birdies and was 8 under at the turn, but she bogeyed her last hole after hitting her drive in the rough.

First-round leader Susie Redman was also tied for the lead with Sorenstam at 7 under with one hole left. But she ended up with a double-bogey after taking two attempts to get out of a bunker on the par-4 ninth hole. She shot a 72 to join Charlotta Sorenstam, Donna Andrews, Brandie Burton and Beth Daniel at 5 under.

"I just tried to get too cute with the chip and I left it in the bunker," said Redman, who is chasing her first LPGA victory in 15 years on tour.

Australia's Karrie Webb, seeking her seventh win of the year, shot a 70 after opening with a 76.

Scores after the second round of the $1 million New Albany Golf Classic, played on the 6,279-yard, par-72 New Albany Country Club course:

Annika Sorenstam 69-68-137 Shani Waugh 70-68-138 Wendy Ward 68-70-138 Dina Ammaccapane 68-70-138 Beth Daniel 73-66-139 Charlotta Sorenstam 72-67-139 Brandie Burton 71-68-139 Donna Andrews 71-68-139 Susie Redman 67-72-139 Jill McGill 75-65-140 Kelli Kuehne 69-71-140 Mi Hyun Kim 68-72-140 Lorie Kane 74-67-141 Michelle Estill 72-69-141 Catriona Matthew 72-69-141 Jean Bartholomew 71-70-141 Carin Koch 69-72-141 Heather Bowie 69-72-141 Angie Ridgeway 74-68-142 Karen Weiss 71-71-142 Joanne Morley 71-71-142 Jane Egan 70-72-142 Nancy Harvey 74-69-143 Janice Moodie 74-69-143 Mhairi McKay 73-70-143 Allison Finney 72-71-143 Vickie Odegard 71-72-143 Karen Pearce 69-74-143 Se Ri Pak 74-70-144 Meg Mallon 73-71-144 Kristal Parker 73-71-144 Barb Whitehead 71-73-144 Val Skinner 71-73-144 Cindy Figg-Currier 71-73-144 Marianne Morris 71-73-144 Betsy King 75-70-145 Cristie Kerr 73-72-145 Amy Benz 72-73-145 Pat Hurst 72-73-145 Lisa DePaulo 72-73-145 Jean Zedlitz 72-73-145 Laura Philo 72-73-145 A.J. Eathorne 72-73-145 Kellee Booth 72-73-145 Audra Burks 71-74-145 Nancy Scranton 70-75-145 Dana Dormann 78-68-146 Grace Park 78-68-146 Karrie Webb 76-70-146 Yu Ping Lin 75-71-146 Alicia Dibos 75-71-146 Patti Liscio 73-73-146 Rosie Jones 73-73-146 Leslie Spalding 73-73-146 Jackie Gallagher-Smith 73-73-146 Kim Williams 72-74-146 Pearl Sinn 72-74-146 Jenny Lidback 72-74-146 Rachel Hetherington 72-74-146 Barb Mucha 70-76-146 Becky Iverson 77-70-147 Laurie Rinker-Graham 76-71-147 Cathy Johnston-Forbes 76-71-147 Heather Daly-Donofrio 76-71-147 Tammie Green 74-73-147 Leta Lindley 74-73-147 Vicki Goetze-Ackerman 74-73-147 Michelle McGann 73-74-147 Marilyn Lovander 73-74-147 Silvia Cavalleri 73-74-147 Moira Dunn 72-75-147 Jennifer Feldott 71-76-147