Sorenstam the Hunter Is Hunted
Annika Sorenstam has gone from a surprise to a target in the U.S. Women’s Open, but nobody is hitting her.
Sorenstam’s first professional victory in the United States was the 1995 Open, which she won by coming from five shots behind in the final round.
With a 67 in the second round Friday at Pine Needles, she held a three-shot lead, and her 137 was the only under-par score through 36 holes.
“Last year I was hunting, chasing a lot of players,” she said after her round put her three shots ahead of Jane Geddes, Emilee Klein and Brandie Burton, who were tied for second.
“This year it’s a little different situation, people looking up to me and trying to beat me.”
Sorenstam displayed her full range of skills Friday. She chipped in once, three times hit iron shots within a yard of the cup for birdies and five times got up-and-down from off the green to save par.
“I didn’t feel like I was hitting the ball as well today as I was yesterday,” Sorenstam said. “But I made a lot of up-and-downs. I was able to save par a few times and had some short birdie putts.”
The Pine Needles course, with its six par-fours of more than 400 yards, played a little easier Friday than it did in the first round. But the firm greens were very hard to hold with long-iron approaches.
“After yesterday’s round I realized that this is not an easy course,” Sorenstam said. “It’s playing pretty long and the greens are firm and you really have to be on the right spot because it has some severe slopes.”
Rosie Jones was alone at 141. Laura Davies, winner of the LPGA Championship last month, was in a group five strokes back at 142. Nancy Lopez, trying for her first Open title in 20 attempts, missed the cut with a 152.