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Sorenstam, Pak Put Heat on Icher

June 14, 2002|From Associated Press

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak, winners of the LPGA's first two majors this season, moved within a stroke of the lead Thursday midway through the Evian Masters.

Sorenstam had five birdies in a round of 67 and Pak had an eagle and eight birdies in a 64 for 36-hole totals of 135, one shot behind Karin Icher of France.

Becoming the first French player to lead the tournament, Icher had a six-under-par 66 for a 10-under total and stretched her streak of bogey-free holes to 47.

"It's easier like that," said Icher, who won her third European title--the Spanish Open--two weeks ago.

Tied with Sorenstam and Pak was American Leta Lindley, who completed her round with five consecutive birdies for a 66.

"I don't remember having five in a row before," she said. "Today I got excited after two."

Mi Hyun Kim, who held a one-stroke lead after Wednesday's opening round, had a second-round 70 and was two shots behind Icher.

Icher turned pro only 18 months ago and found it "weird" to be grouped with Pak and Lindley for the third round.

"I'll have to avoid falling in the trap of just watching my partners play tomorrow," she said.

Her second round featured a 23-foot chip-in for birdie at No. 3 and a 40-foot birdie putt at No. 11.

Pak chipped in for eagle at No. 9. All of her birdies came on putts of less than 10 feet.

Sorenstam's 67 was one shot better than her first-round score.

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