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Kerr playing defense at Women’s Open

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By JON KRAWCZYNSKI
Associated Press

EDINA, Minn. – Cristie Kerr seems to have Angela Park right where she wants her.

Just like last year at Pine Needles, Kerr trails Park heading into the weekend at the U.S. Women’s Open. The margin is much slimmer this time, and Kerr is playing with the swagger of a defending champion.

Kerr made six birdies on her way to a 3-under 70 at Interlachen Friday, and she trails Park by two strokes entering the third round.

“I’ve just got to take out of this that I’m in position again and I have that fire,” Kerr said. “I’ve got it.”

Park shot 6-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Finland’s Minea Blomqvist, Inbee Park and Helen Alfredsson and again claim the Open lead after 36 holes. Last year at Pine Needles, Angela Park held a six-stroke lead over Kerr after two rounds, but fell off over the final 36 holes to finish second, two shots behind Kerr.

This time, Angela Park coupled a smooth putting stroke with that sweet swing of hers to take control early and get off the course before rain and lightning delayed action for 2 1/2 hours.

“I had a couple of long putts, the eagle putt and a couple birdie putts,” Angela Park said, referring to her 30-foot eagle putt on No. 2 to go with five birdies on the round. “But I hit good putts, so like Tiger says, get the speed right and they will drop.”

Putting was a problem for plenty of players throughout the day. Annika Sorenstam needed 33 putts for the second consecutive round, missing a 5-footer for eagle on No. 18. But she still shot 3-under 70 to remain five strokes back in the final U.S. Open of her career.

“I think I’m hitting the ball as good as I can,” Sorenstam said. “I’m just going to work on a few things with my putter, and I’m really looking forward to the weekend. It has to do with tempo, it has to do with the length of my back swing. It just takes awhile to get that.”

Lorena Ochoa missed three birdie putts on her final four holes for a 74 and is 1 over for the tournament.

“I would like to be in better position but I think that it was a tough day for me today,” Ochoa said. “I actually was very glad for the rain delay because after No. 3, I was really frustrated and it seemed like nothing was going my way. I needed some time to relax and just get away a little bit.”

Kerr got rolling toward her first major championship at Pine Needles with a 66 in the third round. But the fiery American didn’t wait that long to get going this time.

Kerr attacked the course after the rain delay, barking at her ball in her trademark style and building some momentum as the evening wore on.

She is brimming with confidence after ending an 0-for-41 streak in majors last year and appears to have captured that winning attitude again this week.

“The feeling I have inside my head and heart,” she said when asked about the similarities between this year and last. “The ability I have right now to get it done. So it’s not pressure on myself. It’s just nice to have that feeling.

Michelle Wie, among 36 players who failed to finish before darkness, returned Saturday morning to play one hole for a 75 to miss the cut by six shots. She settled for one small payback.

Wie hit into the trees on the right Thursday and took a quintuple-bogey 9 on her way to an 81. She also hit to the right Saturday morning on the ninth hole, but this time scrambled for a par.

“I parred (No.) 9 – and at 7 o’clock in the morning,” Wie said before leaving Interlachen.

The cut was at 4-over 150, and 74 players advanced to the weekend.

Kerr was at 4-under 142 along with former Women’s British Open champion Jeong Jang (69), Paula Creamer (72) and Candie Kung (72). Two emerging stars were another shot back, including Maria Jose Uribe of Colombia, the U.S. Women’s Amateur champion who just finished her freshman year at UCLA. Playing with Ochoa and Kerr, and getting the loudest cheers, Uribe shot 74.

Stacy Lewis, who went 5-0 at the Curtis Cup at St. Andrews and turned pro the day she qualified for the Open, birdied her final hole for a 70 and was three shots behind.

“This golf course and Pine Needles just turn my switch on,” Kerr said. “That’s the only way I can describe it.”

Scores with relation to par from the second round of the U.S. Women’sOpen, played June 28 at the par-73, 6,789-yard Interlachen Country Clubin Edina, Minn. (Note: a-amateur):

1. Angela Park 73-67–140

-6 2. Minea Blomqvist 72-69–141

-5 2. Inbee Park 72-69–141

-5 2. Helen Alfredsson 70-71–141

-5 5. Paula Creamer 70-72–142

-4 5. Jeong Jang 73-69–142

-4 5. Cristie Kerr 72-70–142

-4 5. Candie Kung 72-70–142

-4 9. Ji-Yai Shin 69-74–143

-3 9. a-Maria Jose Uribe 69-74–143

-3 9. Teresa Lu 71-72–143

-3 9. Stacy Lewis 73-70–143

-3 9. Momoko Ueda 72-71–143

-3 9. Ai Miyazato 71-72–143

-3 9. Ji Young Oh 67-76–143

-3 9. Louise Friberg 69-74–143

-3 17. Song-Hee Kim 68-76–144

-2 17. Mi Hyun Kim 72-72–144

-2 17. Katherine Hull 72-72–144

-2 17. Nicole Castrale 74-70–144

-2 17. In-Kyung Kim 71-73–144

-2 22. Seon Hwa Lee 75-70–145

-1 22. Pat Hurst 67-78–145

-1 22. Annika Sorenstam 75-70–145

-1 22. Jimin Kang 73-72–145

-1 22. Yani Tseng 71-74–145

-1 22. Young Kim 74-71–145

-1 28. Sherri Turner 76-70–146

E 28. Sakura Yokomine 71-75–146

E 28. Brittany Lang 71-75–146

E 28. Jennifer Rosales 74-72–146

E 28. Shi Hyun Ahn 73-73–146

E 28. Rachel Hetherington 71-75–146

E 28. Jee Young Lee 71-75–146

E 35. Stacy Prammanasudh 75-72–147
+ 1 35. Karen Stupples 74-73–147
+ 1 35. Na Yeon Choi 76-71–147
+ 1 35. Meg Mallon 75-72–147
+ 1 35. Giulia Sergas 73-74–147
+ 1 35. Sun-Ju Ahn 76-71–147
+ 1 35. Na Ri Kim 76-71–147
+ 1 35. a-Alison Walshe 73-74–147
+ 1 35. a-Sydnee Michaels 71-76–147
+ 1 35. Brittany Lincicome 74-73–147
+ 1 35. Lorena Ochoa 73-74–147
+ 1 35. Catriona Matthew 70-77–147
+ 1 35. Laura Diaz 77-70–147
+ 1 35. Reilley Rankin 72-75–147
+ 1 35. a-Tiffany Lua 72-75–147
+ 1 50. Suzann Pettersen 77-71–148
+ 2 50. Morgan Pressel 74-74–148
+ 2 50. Eun-Hee Ji 76-72–148
+ 2 53. Angela Stanford 76-73–149
+ 3 53. Jane Park 78-71–149
+ 3 53. Meena Lee 75-74–149
+ 3 53. a-Paola Moreno 73-76–149
+ 3 53. Linda Wessberg 70-79–149
+ 3 53. Christina Kim 73-76–149
+ 3 53. Janice Moodie 78-71–149
+ 3 60. Na On Min 77-73–150
+ 4 60. Marcy Hart 78-72–150
+ 4 60. Lindsey Wright 78-72–150
+ 4 60. a-Amanda Blumenherst 72-78–150
+ 4 60. Karin Sjodin 74-76–150
+ 4 60. Sherri Steinhauer 75-75–150
+ 4 60. Michele Redman 74-76–150
+ 4 60. Karrie Webb 75-75–150
+ 4 60. Hee-Won Han 74-76–150
+ 4 60. Il Mi Chung 76-74–150
+ 4 60. Leta Lindley 77-73–150
+ 4 60. Maria Hjorth 76-74–150
+ 4 60. Whitney Wade 77-73–150
+ 4 60. Kim Hall 74-76–150
+ 4 60. a-Jessica Korda 72-78–150
+ 4 • • •

Missed the cut

75. a-Jenny Shin 73-78–151
+ 5 75. Moira Dunn 74-77–151
+ 5 75. a-Mina Harigae 72-79–151
+ 5 75. Laura Davies 70-81–151
+ 5 75. Carin Koch 76-75–151
+ 5 75. Julieta Granada 74-77–151
+ 5 75. Sun Young Yoo 76-75–151
+ 5 75. Amy Yang 73-78–151
+ 5 75. Hee Young Park 76-75–151
+ 5 75. Aiko Yoshida 79-72–151
+ 5 85. a-Alexis Thompson 75-77–152
+ 6 85. Heather Young 76-76–152
+ 6 85. Grace Park 75-77–152
+ 6 85. a-Cydney Clanton 77-75–152
+ 6 85. Carri Wood 76-76–152
+ 6 85. Hilary Lunke 74-78–152
+ 6 85. Kelli Kuehne 76-76–152
+ 6 85. Miriam Nagl 76-76–152
+ 6 93. Anna Grzebien 76-77–153
+ 7 93. Martha Nause 78-75–153
+ 7 93. Diana D'Alessio 79-74–153
+ 7 93. a-Ha-Na Jang 73-80–153
+ 7 93. Laurie Brower 81-72–153
+ 7 93. Natalie Gulbis 73-80–153
+ 7 93. Mi-Jeong Jeon 73-80–153
+ 7 93. Sunny Oh 79-74–153
+ 7 93. a-Erynne Lee 77-76–153
+ 7 102. Jeanne Cho-Hunicke 81-73–154
+ 8 102. Sophie Gustafson 77-77–154
+ 8 102. Candy Hannemann 78-76–154
+ 8 102. Gwladys Nocera 81-73–154
+ 8 102. Amy Hung 77-77–154
+ 8 102. Jill McGill 78-76–154
+ 8 102. Se Ri Pak 76-78–154
+ 8 102. Allison Fouch 79-75–154
+ 8 102. Sarah Lee 78-76–154
+ 8 102. Danah Ford 78-76–154
+ 8 102. Bomi Suh 75-79–154
+ 8 102. Janell Howland 78-76–154
+ 8 102. Gina Umeck 77-77–154
+ 8 115. Juli Inkster 74-81–155
+ 9 115. a-Jennie Lee 74-81–155
+ 9 115. Shanshan Feng 77-78–155
+ 9 115. a-Joanne Lee 78-77–155
+ 9 115. Leah Wigger 74-81–155
+ 9 115. Heather Daly-Donofrio 74-81–155
+ 9 115. a-Jennifer Song 79-76–155
+ 9 115. Wendy Doolan 79-76–155
+ 9 115. a-Victoria Tanco 74-81–155
+ 9 124. Birdie Kim 79-77–156
+ 10 124. Chieko Amanuma 80-76–156
+ 10 124. Liselotte Neumann 78-78–156
+ 10 124. Eva Dahllof 77-79–156
+ 10 124. a-Kimberly Kim 77-79–156
+ 10 124. Michelle Wie 81-75–156
+ 10 124. a-Cyd Okino 79-77–156
+ 10 131. Jean Reynolds 75-82–157
+ 11 131. Patricia Meunier-Lebouc 77-80–157
+ 11 131. Alena Sharp 77-80–157
+ 11 134. a-Kristen Park 80-78–158
+ 12 134. Sin Ham 78-80–158
+ 12 134. a-Courtney Ellenbogen 79-79–158
+ 12 134. Meaghan Francella 79-79–158
+ 12 134. Silvia Cavalleri 76-82–158
+ 12 134. Ashleigh Simon 79-79–158
+ 12 134. Jamie Fischer 80-78–158
+ 12 134. Charlotte Mayorkas 83-75–158
+ 12 134. Nicole Hage 79-79–158
+ 12 143. Kristen Samp 79-80–159
+ 13 143. Rachel Bailey 80-79–159
+ 13 143. Bettina Hauert 79-80–159
+ 13 146. Virada Nirapathpongporn 81-79–160
+ 14 146. Kyeong Bae 79-81–160
+ 14 146. a-Kathleen Ekey 80-80–160
+ 14 149. Katrina Leckovic 81-80–161
+ 15 150. Lynn Valentine 80-82–162
+ 16 151. a-Tara Goedeken 80-83–163
+ 17 152. Angela Oh 87-77–164
+ 18 153. a-Lauren Doughtie 78-87–165
+ 19 153. a-Emily Powers 81-84–165
+ 19 155. a-Sarah Almond 87-79–166
+ 20 156. Vanessa Brockett 87-80–167
+ 21

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