PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club


Crowded On Top

By Robert Millward, AP Photos by AP
July 31, 2008

Lorena Ochoa and Natalie Gulbis are just three behind the leaders heading into the weekend.

SUNNINGDALE, England (AP) -- Yuri Fudoh of Japan and Ji-Yai Shin of South Korea shot a 4-under 68 Friday to lead by one stroke and equal the halfway record at the Women's British Open, while Annika Sorenstam's 72 was just enough to make the cut.

Fudoh and Shin were at 10-under 134 to tie the record set by Jeong Jang of South Korea, who won three years ago at Royal Birkdale. American Juli Inkster (70) was one shot back, while South Korean Bo Bae Song (68) and American Cristie Kerr (65) were two strokes behind the leaders.

Sorenstam stumbled over the front nine for the second day in a row, bogeying the fifth, sixth and seventh holes.

After shooting 72 Thursday, Sorenstam was at 3 over after seven holes and in danger of failing to make it to the weekend of her final major before she quits tournament golf at the end of the year.

The 37-year-old Swede, owner of 10 majors and 72 career titles on the LPGA Tour, responded with three birdies in a row at the ninth, 10th and 11th holes to finish at even-par 144 -- safe from the projected cut of 1 over.

"Ever since I made my announcement, I've just not been able to get anything going," Sorenstam said. "I don't know what it is.

"I'd say today was like yesterday. I play 15 good holes and then again I leave a few shots out there. I just can't do that, not in this type of championship. It's costing me too much and then I always have to do catchup and I've not been able to do that."

The 48-year-old Inkster, aiming to become the oldest winner of a women's major, followed up her opening-round 65.

"It was a lot harder today," she said. "I kind of just managed my game today. The wind was going different ways."

Defending champion Lorena Ochoa (68) was three shots off the lead, along with Natalie Gulbis (68) and Ai Miyazato (69).

"I birdied the first two holes, it was nice to take advantage of the two par-5s," Gulbis said. "And I managed to take advantage of another par-5 for a birdie. I think anything in the 60s is going to be pretty good today."

American Laura Diaz (72) was four shots back despite making three eagles Friday, the third time it's been done on the LPGA Tour.

"I've never had two," Diaz said. "I know it's a record for me and I was hoping it was an LPGA record. I was going for the fourth at 14, but I ran it by (from 30 feet). I thought I hit a good putt, went past it, didn't even make birdie."

Alice Ritzman had three eagles in the 1979 European Open at Sunningdale, along with Nina Reis at the 2006 Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore.

Inbee Park, who won the Women's U.S. Open a month ago, was among those who missed the cut. She made a 75 for a 5-over 149. Morgan Pressel, winner of last year's Kraft Nabisco, also went out after she shot 74 for 4-over 148.

Jang was 3 over after 13 holes when she retired with a wrist injury.

Until Fudoh and Shin joined her on Friday, Jang held the 36-hole record of 10-under 134 since the championship became a major in 2001. Before that, Emilee Klein (1996 at Woburn) and Jane Geddes (1989 at Ferndale) also shot 134 over the first two rounds.