Sorenstam sisters maintain lead after second round


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, AP

Sorenstam sisters Annika and Charlotta shot an eight-under par Saturday to extend their lead by three strokes on the second day of the US$1 million Womens World Cup Golf. The Swedish sisters, who fired a sizzling five-under on the first day, knocked down eight birdies Saturday to finish with a two day total of 13-under 131. Trailing in second were the Australians, who despite improving on their Friday’s performance, found themselves lagging even further behind the Swedes. World number one Karrie Webb and partner Rachel Hetherington, who were only one shot adrift of the leaders after Friday’s play, displayed good form to score six-under 66 on Saturday _ still not enough to keep pace with the Swedes. “I think we played pretty steady today, but we also left a few out there. We struggled a little at the beginning but came back and finished with a six-under which is a good score,” said Webb, the leading player on the Ladies Professional Golfers Association Tour this year with seven wins. Webb said that the fight was far from over, especially since the individual scores of players would count on Sunday. Annika Sorenstam, the world number two, agreed with Webb and admitted that Sweden still had a fight on their hands in the third round Sunday. “A lot can happen when the scores of both players matter. This is also a quality field. You saw the way USA had a nice comeback today and I know tomorrow they are going to do the best they can. I wouldn’t take anything for granted,” she said. While most of the attention was focused on the battle between the leading two, South American teams Colombia and Peru stunned the rest of the field by finishing tied for third after carding scores of six-under 66 Saturday. Colombian sisters, Marisa and Cristina Baena would have had a better finish if it were not for a sole bogey they hit Saturday on the last hole. Peru dropped a shot on the 12th and looked set for a poor finish when they fired four successive birdies on the last four holes to tie for third. The two nations both scored even par on Friday. The Americans bounced back from a disastrous start on Friday to finish Saturday with a six-under 66. They also improved from ninth place to share fourth with Japan. The Americans, the strongest side on paper and one of the pre-tournament favorites, are now five-under. Meg Mallon, the world number three, and her partner, Juli Inkster, ranked number four in the world, face an uphill battle on Sunday, the third and final day of competition. The Americans trail the leaders by eight strokes, but refused to throw in the towel. “We played good today. Our performance has given us a good feeling for tomorrow. Although we are behind, at least we are now back in the game,” Mallon said.