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Women of Troy Leading Open

Rosales has one-shot edge over Kung and Saiki, but Sorenstam and Wie are close.

July 03, 2004|From Associated Press

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. — Plodding along with pars is usually the kind of golf that wins the U.S. Women's Open.

That wasn't the case Friday, a day of wild adventures at Orchards Golf Club that sent Michelle Wie into a patch of poison ivy, turned another teenager's glee into gloom and eventually ended with Jennifer Rosales in the lead at a major for the second time in three weeks.

It's almost like a USC reunion at the top of the leaderboard, with 1998 NCAA champion Rosales at five-under-par 137, one shot better than two-time All-American Candie Kung and Kim Saiki, who starred with the Trojans in the late 1980s.

"To put yourself in position to have a good weekend is half the battle," Kelly Robbins said after playing four holes in five under par, followed by three consecutive bogeys.

Annika Sorenstam missed only one green (just barely) and one fairway for a 68 that left her two shots out of the lead and poised to win the biggest event in women's golf.

Rosales shot out of the gate with three birdies and closed with a 12-foot birdie that gave her a four-under 67.

Kung chipped in twice for birdie in her round of 68. Saiki, trying to become the first player in 24 years to win a U.S. Open the week after winning an LPGA Tour event, finished bogey-birdie-bogey for a 68.

No one had a crazier time than Wie, the 14-year-old from Hawaii. She hit a spectator with her tee shot on No. 10, then had to play out of poison ivy on the 14th hole after driving deep into the woods. It all led to a one-under 70 and left her only four shots behind, although she wasn't even low teenager.

Paula Creamer, 17, finished with a birdie for a 69 and was tied with Wie.

The other teen had a tougher time. Brittany Lincicome, an 18-year-old Floridian who tied a Women's Open record with a 66 in the first round, was shaky with her irons and her putting. She bogeyed three consecutive holes to reach the turn and finished with a 77.

Rosales led the LPGA Championship last month, but she struggled over the long weekend and finished tied for 13th, 11 shots behind Sorenstam.

"Hopefully, this weekend will be different," Rosales said.

Sorenstam, Carin Koch (67) and Michelle Ellis (69) were at 139, while Rachel Teske (69) and Moira Dunn (67) were another shot back. Wie and Creamer were joined at 141 by Robbins (67) and Pat Hurst.

"Thirty-six holes is a lot of golf at a U.S. Open," two-time champion Juli Inkster said after her second even-par 71. "I like my position."

So does Wie, who was all over the place.

"I had a couple of ups and downs," she said. "If I just get rid of the downs, then I'll be good."

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