RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF.- As impressive leader boards go, this one's a doozy. No fewer than six major champions are within three strokes of halftime leader Song-Hee Kim going into the weekend at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.[#image: /photos/55ad920cb01eefe207f76275]|||GDWleaderboard2.gif|||Every one of them -- Karen Stupples, Lorena Ochoa, Cristie Kerr, Karrie Webb, Yani Tseng and Suzann Pettersen -- is a solid pick to win, but after the roller coaster scoring posted on Friday, you have to give the edge to Ochoa, Stupples and Kerr. All three played well today and are very fond of this particular event.
"Honestly, I love it here -- I can't say it any other way," Stupples gushed after her second 69 of the week. "I always get goose bumps when I come here. There's something special about this tournament. I don't know whether it's the jump in the water or what it is. I want to win it, and I've always wanted to win it."
Ochoa feels confident as well. "I think I'm in a good position. I like to give myself a chance to win the tournament on Sunday and everything is going in the right direction."
And Kerr couldn't rave enough about her current form, especially with the driver: "I played really, really well today. It was great mentally, and I hit the ball as solid as I think I've ever hit it. I hit the ball really far today. I had a lot of speed."
Don't count out Webb, though. She may not be one for superlatives, but both of her prior wins here (in 2000 and 2006) were sneaky, come-from-behind surprises, and she's showing great form this week. She hasn't made any big mistakes but seems content to hit fairways and putt well without too much fanfare while her colleagues get all the attention.
Lastly, of course, there's our leader, Song-Hee Kim. If she can remain focused on her vanilla swirl, she may just make this major the first LPGA Tour win of her career.
*--Stina Sternberg *