Sorenstams block Webb's bid for five

Click to follow
The Independent Online

If Karrie Webb is going to extend her amazing streak of victories, she is going to have to deal with the Sorenstam girls in Phoenix.

Leading at 9-under 135 after a 68 was Annika Sorenstam, who was tied with Webb for the lead after the first round. Tied for second with Webb at 136 was Charlotta Sorenstam, Annika's sister. She had the low round of the tournament on Thursday, a 64 on the Legacy Golf Resort course.

Cathy Johnston-Forbes was at 138 after a 68 and Michelle Murphy was at 139, also after a 68. Laura Davies, who shot 71, was one of eight players at 140 who were among the 74 golfers who survived the cut at 2-over 146. Also on Friday, Patti Liscio used a 7-iron to record a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th hole.

While Webb has been getting all the headlines for her streak, Annika Sorenstam has been pretty hot herself. She won last week in Tucson, a victory that gave her enough points to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame.

"I'm hitting some good shots," she said. "I feel good."

Playing the back nine first, Annika Sorenstam had birdies on three par-5s. She dropped to 9-under when she birdied the par-5 eighth hole.

Annika Sorenstam is more than a bit wary of Webb. In their last tournament together, Webb won in a playoff in the Takefuji Classic in Hawaii on March 2 to March 4.

"The way Karrie is playing, if she was 20 shots behind maybe I would feel comfortable," Annika Sorenstam said. "One shot is nothing to her. I have to play some really good golf to beat her.

"Saturday and Sunday is when you win tournaments. I just have to play my own game and not worry about her."

Webb, the defending champion, is plenty to worry about. The 25-year-old Aussie has won three LPGA Tour events and the Australian Women's Open during the streak. Nancy Lopez set the tour record of five straight victories in 1978.

Webb has 19 official LPGA victories in only five seasons, including six last year when she set records with dlrs 1,591,959 in earnings and a 69.43 stroke average. She also won the LPGA's 1995 Women's British Open before gaining tour membership.

"I'm pretty happy with the way things are going," Webb said. "I'm not getting myself into any trouble. I know that I'll probably be in good position by the end of the day."

Webb said she isn't concerned who is on the leader board with her.

"When I get my tee time, I'll find out where I stand," Webb said.

Webb did not take long to get rolling on Friday. She opened on the back nine and had two pars before recording her first birdie. She also had birdies on Nos. 15 and 18 to move to 9-under.

On the front nine, Webb had two bogeys and a birdie.

Charlotta Sorenstam, who at 26 is three years younger than her sister, admitted she has had a bit of an identity crisis on the tour.

"They always say, 'Annika's sister,"' she said. "I hear that every time I'm on the course. I will always be Annika's sister out there.

"It never annoyed me. I think that is a misunderstanding out there that I get annoyed."

Charlotta Sorenstam hopes she can be paired with her sister on Sunday.

"As long as we're the last group," she said.

Leading second round scores from the LPGA Standard Register Ping tournament in Arizona (US unless stated):

135 A Sorenstam (Swe) 67 68 136 K Webb (Aus) 67 69, C Sorenstam (Swe) 72 64 137 C Johnston-Forbes 70 68 139 M Murphy 71 68 140 L Davies (Gb) 69 71, J Morley (Gb) 70 70, R Hetherington (Aus) 71 69, R Jones 73 67, W Doolan (Aus) 71 69, D Pepper 68 72 141 J Piers 71 70, M Mallon 70 71, J Geddes 72 69, M Hjorth (Swe) 69 72, M H Kim (Kor) 68 73, S Steinhauer 72 69, K Kuehne 72 69 142 S Waugh (Aus) 73 69, P Bradley 70 72, H Alfredsson (Swe) 74 68, B King 74 68, H Kobayashi (Jpn) 71 71, N Scranton 71 71, B Iverson 73 69, C Koch 69 73

Other qualifiers included:

144 C Matthew (Gb) 72 71 145 J Moodie (Gb) 74 71, K Marshall (Gb) 75 70 146 H Dobson (Gb) 72 74

Missed cut

147 M McKay (Gb) 72 75, T Johnson (Gb) 76 73 148 S Gustafson (Swe) 74 74