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Sorenstam Feeling Not Quite So Grand

April 01, 2006|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

Annika Sorenstam may be losing her grip on her grand plan, but she hasn't given up hope of completing the first stage of the Grand Slam just yet.

She shot an even-par 72 Friday and is in a tie for 12th after two rounds of the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage but trails leader Lorena Ochoa by 10 shots.

"I fought really hard out there; I really tried," Sorenstam said. "It's a little bit tough at the moment. I feel I'm playing better, but nothing happens."

She missed a couple of short putts Friday but took solace in the fact that the leaders didn't pull too far ahead.

"I'm happy with the way I'm hitting it, and I have to keep going," she said. "I'm concerned about putting up a good score because I'm playing good enough. If it's going to be enough, I have no idea. I just want to have a score that reflects how I'm playing."


Like most who played in the afternoon, Angela Park struggled a bit in the windy conditions and shot one-over 73, but she remained on track for her stated goal to finish among the top 20.

The Torrance High senior is tied for seventh at three under. She said she made only one bad shot -- an approach on her sixth hole that hit a tree and led to a double bogey -- but after an opening-nine 39, she rallied for a 34 on the back.

"I was three over at the turn and I was like, 'Come on Angela, this is Nabisco, you have to play well,' " she said. "Obviously the conditions are tough, but there's no excuse for shooting one over."

Still, she gets a late tee time for the third round -- a sign that she is playing well.

"That means more galleries, more people that watch you," she said. "And more claps."

But even though she is within striking distance heading into the weekend, a top-20 finish remains her goal.

"I don't want to get too greedy," said Park, 17, who plans to bypass college and turn pro after the tournament. "Obviously all these girls are more experienced than I am and they're probably better than I am, so I can't really expect myself to win."


Michelle Wie has been granted honorary membership at Waialae Country Club -- site of the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Hawaii, in which she has played the last three years.

And, yes, honorary means she doesn't have to pay for membership.

"It's pretty cool," said Wie, who is in second place, four shots off the lead after two rounds.

The 16-year-old high school junior turned pro last fall and is playing her first major as a pro this week but said her schoolmates weren't that impressed.

"They're like, 'What? You just turned pro? I thought you were already a pro,' " she said. "And I'm like, 'No, I was an amateur.' They don't really know the difference."

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