Stanford opens four-shot lead in Bell Micro LPGA
MOBILE, Ala. — Angela Stanford shot her second straight 5-under 67 yesterday to take a four-stroke lead in the Bell Micro LPGA Classic.
"I'm having such a good time playing this golf course," said Stanford, who won the 2003 ShopRite LPGA Classic for her lone tour title.
"It's been a while since I've been in this position, and I'm just having so much fun this week that I don't think there's any pressure."
Stanford had seven birdies, including four in a row on the back nine, to reach 12-under 204 on The Crossings course at Magnolia Grove.
"That may be the best back nine I've ever played," said Stanford, who shot a 5-under 31 on the final nine holes. "We really had a hard time on the front side with the wind. ... It seemed to be more consistent on the back nine."
Canadian Women's Open winner Katherine Hull was 8 under after a 68, and Angela Park (69) and Shanshan Feng (70) were tied for third at 6 under.
Cristie Kerr, two strokes ahead of Stanford after a second-round 66, shot a 76 to drop seven shots back at 5 under. Danielle Downey (64), Kim Hall (67), Kristy McPherson (67), H.J. Choi (67), Hee Young Park (70) and Reilley Rankin (72) also were 5 under.
Hull had a one-stroke lead through 13 holes, but bogeyed 14 and got into big trouble on 18, where she trickled a shot out of the bunker, chipped well short of the hole and missed a 7-foot putt en route to a double bogey.
"I guess I haven't had a lot of bunker shots and probably took it a little for granted," Hull said. "I'll probably forget about it in about 10 minutes. The bottom line is, I shot 68 and played pretty well."
Park dropped a stroke with a bogey on 18.
"I didn't putt very well yesterday, which I think hurt me a little bit for the tournament, but I went out there today and said, 'I'm going to go as slow as I can,' " Park said. "I'm making plenty of birdies out there, and making a couple of bogeys here and there that I should not. Hopefully, tomorrow we won't have any more bogeys."
Downey followed a 78 in the windy second round with her bogey-free 64.
"I hit a lot of fairways today," said Downey, who birdied five of the last six holes. "I had three tap-in birdies, so that helped. I struck the ball well to get to that point."
JENKINS, EAKS SHARE LEAD ATOP GREATER HICKORY
CONOVER, N.C. — Tom Jenkins shot a 7-under 65 yesterday for a share of the second-round lead with defending champion R.W. Eaks in the Greater Hickory Classic.
Jenkins, in contention for his first Champions Tour victory in two years, matched Eaks at 15-under 129 on the Rock Barn Golf and Spa course. Eaks shot a 68 after opening with a 61, the best score on the tour this year.
"My objective today was to try and catch up a little bit to (Eaks) and stay close if I could," said Jenkins, a seven-time winner on the 50-and-over tour whose last victory came in the 2006 SAS Championship in Cary, N.C.
The 54-year-old Jenkins, who opened with a 64, made up ground yesterday with eight birdies on the Robert Trent Jones-designed course.
Eaks birdied the first two holes to increase his lead to five strokes, but made just two more birdies over the rest of the round.
KARLSSON OPENS 3-SHOT LEAD IN MERCEDES-BENZ
PULHEIM, Germany — Robert Karlsson of Sweden took a three-stroke lead after the third round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship yesterday, overcoming a one-shot penalty to shoot a 4-under 68 at the Gut Larchenhof Golf Club course.
Karlsson, one of the four Europeans warming up for next week's Ryder Cup, was penalized for grounding his putter when his ball moved slightly on the second green.
"I was over the ball but hadn't addressed the club right behind the ball," said Karlsson, who hasn't won since 2006. "The ball moved forward and I thought there wouldn't be a penalty because I hadn't addressed it, but it's actually enough that the putter is on the ground."
He finished at 12-under 204 for a three-shot lead over Francesco Molinari of Italy and Jean-Francois Lucquin of France.