Bader takes lead at Corning

Beth Bader shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to take a one-shot lead over Kim Young after two rounds at the LPGA Corning Classic.

updated: May 27, 2007 08:00 IST
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Undeterred by a weather delay that created gusting wind midway through her round, Beth Bader shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to take a one-shot lead over Kim Young after two rounds at the LPGA Corning Classic.

Bader finished at 13-under 131 to tie the 36-hole tournament record set three years ago by Michelle Estil.

Kim shot 64 to be two shots ahead of Paula Creamer (68) and three ahead of Kim Mi-hyun (67) and Becky Morgan (66). Natalie Gulbis (67), Jamie Hullett (70), Diana D'Alessio (69), Kim In-kyung (69), and Jean Bartholomew (68) were 8 under, and first-round leader Charlotta Sorenstam (73), Japan's Ai Miyazato (69), and Alena Sharp (63) were among seven players at 7 under.

Bader had just completed No 1 when lightning caused a 45-minute delay. When play resumed, she birdied each of the short par 5s to help offset a bogey at the par-4 fourth hole, her first bogey of the tournament.

Birdies at Nos 6 and 7, the second on a 7-foot putt from above the hole that broke right to left, gave Bader sole possession of the lead.

A bogey on the next hole when she was unable to get up and down after her second shot landed in a bad place next to a bunker dropped her back. She then rallied with a 12-foot birdie putt at No 9 after her drive clipped a tree and landed in the first cut of the right rough.

15 birdies

That gave Bader 15 birdies over the first two rounds and a spot atop the leaderboard entering the weekend.

"I got lucky," said Bader, who was caught and passed by Sorenstam late on the first round. "I feel very good about coming back and shooting that score. I have had a few first-round leads and haven't played well the second day."

Playing in a threesome with Creamer, Kim Young completed her second straight bogey-free round as the narrow, tree-lined Corning Country Club course yielded birdie after birdie on another day of hazy sunshine with temperatures approaching 90 degrees.

Kim's total of 132 included one eagle, 10 birdies and 25 pars.

"I just played my game," said Kim, whose strong iron play helped her get through the round with just 26 putts. "This is day two. I'm proud of myself. I knew if I hit my best shots it would be good. Before, I don't like this course because (it's) too narrow and (has) too small greens. Now, I'm feeling good."

The Kims, who entered the day tied with 11 other players at 4 under, each shot 32 on the back side. But Kim Mi-hyun bogeyed No 1 to fall back to 7 under, while Kim Young reeled off three birdies in a four-hole span to take sole possession of the lead at 11 under.

Kim Young, who started on the back nine, rolled in a 3-foot birdie putt on her final hole to finish one stroke off her personal best and move into contention for her first victory on the LPGA Tour.

"Before the 15th hole, I didn't think of my score," said Kim, who sank a 21-foot birdie putt on the hole to reach 7 under. "Then after I think, `Wow! I had a good score today.'"

Lightning halted play a second time just before 7 pm with 15 players still on the course.