Sorenstam takes du Maurier lead

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Annika Sorenstam shot her second straight 3-under-par 69 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Canada's Lorie Kane after the second round of the du Maurier Classic.

Annika Sorenstam shot her second straight 3-under-par 69 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Canada's Lorie Kane after the second round of the du Maurier Classic.

Two strokes behind Sorenstam were Laura Philo, tour rookie Diana D'Alessio and Juli Inkster, who shot a 68 to again move into contention in an LPGA major championship. One stroke behind that group was Meg Mallon, also a fixture on major leaderboards.

Sorenstam made four birdies, only one bogey, hit 16 greens in regulation and in general stayed out of trouble on the 6,403-yard Royal Ottawa Golf Club course. The Swedish star is seeking her sixth LPGA title of 2000 and trying to end a drought in major championships following consecutive U.S. Open victories in 1995 and 1996.

Sorenstam complained of nerves in the earlier rounds of major championships since 1996, but has looked in command of her game and her confidence in the first two rounds of the du Maurier.

"I never was in trouble, which is fun," she said. "And it kind of makes you comfortable out there."

Kane is Canada's sentimental favourite at the du Maurier, which is losing its sponsorship by the Imperial Tobacco company after this year due to cigarette advertising limitations in Canada. Its status as an LPGA major is almost certainly lost, and so far no entity has stepped forward to take over as sponsor of the only Canadian stop on tour.

Kane's fans cheered her every swing, and hundreds were already on hand to follow her as she started her early morning tee time. Playing the back nine first on a cloudy, windless day, Kane made birdies at Nos. 13, 16, 18 and 1 and even more fans flocked to her group.

Kane made her only mistake at No. 3 by missing the green on the par 4 when she hit an iron approach shot fat, but she birdied No. 5 by holing out a 25-foot bunker shot and No. 6 with a 6-foot putt. She finished with a 67, the best round of the day.

"I don't think I've ever felt this confident and calm," the Prince Edward Island native said. "I know what I want to do and I'm doing it."

D'Alessio, the 25-year-old rookie who made only her fifth cut on Friday in 13 lifetime tour events, had a 73 Friday in which she seemed to constantly be in trouble. She led Sorenstam and four others by two strokes after her opening-round 67.

D'Alessio had it to 6 under twice Friday, the latter time when she rolled in a 15-foot putt for birdie at the par-3 12th.

But she pulled her drive on No. 13 into deep rough for one bogey and had a 3-foot par putt go around the hole and out on the 17th hole to fall back to 4 under.

Australia's Karrie Webb, chasing a dlrs 1 million bonus from Nabisco if she can win her third major tournament of the year, shot a 72 for a 143 total. She made a costly double bogey on the par-3 second hole after hitting into trees off the tee with a 4-iron.

"Well, I haven't shot myself in the foot, but I would like to be a few more under," Webb said.

The winner of the other major title this year, Inkster at the LPGA Championship, had a 68 that could have been better. She hit her second shot into the rough on the par-5 18th - for many players a birdie hole Friday - and three putted for bogey.

"That doesn't leave a very good taste in my mouth," she said.

But Inkster, who has won three of the last six major women's championships, said she was happy to be near the top again.

"I try to just position myself in these things for Sunday hopefully make a good run for it," she said.

Philo shot a 69. Only in her second year on the LPGA tour, Philo came close to winning two weeks ago in Youngstown, Ohio, before double bogeying the last hole.

South Korea's Se Ri Pak, one of those tied for second after Thursday's opening round, took 33 putts Friday and shot a 76.

Scores after the second round of the $1.2 million du Maurier Classic, played on the 6,403-yard, par-72 Royal Ottawa Golf Club. (a-denotes amateur):

Annika Sorenstam 69-69-138 Lorie Kane 72-67-139 Juli Inkster 72-68-140 Laura Philo 71-69-140 Diana D'Alessio 67-73-140 Meg Mallon 73-68-141 Karrie Webb 71-72-143 Mhairi McKay 70-73-143 Kristi Albers 69-74-143 Rosie Jones 74-70-144 Val Skinner 73-71-144 Trish Johnson 72-72-144 Marisa Baena 69-75-144 Luciana Bemvenuti 75-70-145 Jane Crafter 74-71-145 Michele Redman 74-71-145 Dana Dormann 72-73-145 Kelli Kuehne 72-73-145 Carin Koch 72-73-145 Rachel Hetherington 72-73-145 Leigh Ann Mills 70-75-145 Se Ri Pak 69-76-145 Gail Graham 76-70-146 Kelly Robbins 76-70-146 Cindy McCurdy 75-71-146 Alicia Dibos 75-71-146 Vickie Odegard 74-72-146 Maggie Will 73-73-146 Dawn Coe-Jones 73-73-146 Leta Lindley 72-74-146 Kim Williams 71-75-146 Tina Barrett 71-75-146 Dorothy Delasin 71-75-146 Tracy Hanson 69-77-146 Kate Golden 77-70-147 Michelle McGann 76-71-147 Sophie Gustafson 76-71-147 Heather Bowie 76-71-147 Karen Weiss 75-72-147 Gloria Park 74-73-147 Danielle Ammaccapane 71-76-147 Leslie Spalding 71-76-147 Karen Pearce 71-76-147 Audra Burks 70-77-147 Brandie Burton 78-70-148 Eva Dahllof 76-72-148 Dina Ammaccapane 76-72-148 Barb Mucha 75-73-148 Kristal Parker 75-73-148 Catriona Matthew 74-74-148 Becky Iverson 74-74-148 Betsy King 73-75-148 Beth Daniel 73-75-148 Pat Hurst 73-75-148 Ashli Bunch 73-75-148 Wendy Ward 72-76-148 Mi Hyun Kim 72-76-148 Charlotta Sorenstam 79-70-149 Sally Little 78-71-149 Amy Alcott 77-72-149 Helen Alfredsson 77-72-149 Patti Liscio 76-73-149 Jenny Lidback 76-73-149 Michelle Estill 76-73-149 Amy Fruhwirth 75-74-149 Kellee Booth 75-74-149 Michelle Bell 75-74-149 Laura Davies 74-75-149 Pat Bradley 74-75-149 Heather Daly-Donofrio 74-75-149 Kim Saiki 74-75-149 Tracy Lipp 74-75-149 Susan Ginter 74-75-149

Failed to Qualify

Jane Geddes 75-75-150 Donna Andrews 73-77-150 Sherri Steinhauer 74-77-151 Cindy Flom 74-77-151 Cindy Figg-Currier 77-75-152 Maria Hjorth 76-76-152 Tammie Green 78-79-157 Liselotte Neumann 78-82-160