Halfway across the country, this U.S. Women’s Open must look familiar to Angela Park. She was in the lead after 36 holes of a tournament again delayed by storms, and Cristie Kerr was moving quickly up the leaderboard.
Halfway across the country, this U.S. Women’s Open must look familiar to Angela Park. She was in the lead after 36 holes of a tournament again delayed by storms, and Cristie Kerr was moving quickly up the leaderboard.The 19-year-old Park found a smooth putting stroke to go with her pretty swing Friday at Interlachen, posting a 6-under 67 well before the lightning and rain forced a 2 1/2-hour delay. Just like last year at Pine Needles, the lead held up.Helen Alfredsson bogeyed the 16th hole as the sun dipped behind the trees, settling for a 71 that left her one shot behind, along with Minea Blomqvist of Finland and In-Bee Park, who each had 69.The threat might be Kerr, the defending champion, looking confident as ever on a course that feels like home. She was within one shot of the lead and twice threatened with birdies until a fly distracted her on the ninth tee and she hit into the woods, leading to bogey. Even so, she shot a 70 and was just two shots behind along with Jeong Jang (69), Paula Creamer (72) and Candie Kung (72).The 36 players who failed to finish before darkness included Michelle Wie, who tried to rally from an 81 but made bogeys she couldn’t afford after the rain delay. She was 2 over for the round, 10 over for the tournament, and had to return Saturday to play one hole. The cut was assured of being 4-over 150 because of the 10-shot rule.Park made sure of that with a burst of birdies early in her round, a 5-wood into 30 feet for an eagle on No. 2, and only one bogey on an otherwise flawless day. She was at 6-under 140, the second straight year she held the 36-hole lead.Annika Sorenstam was five strokes behind after a 70, and Lorena Ochoa was seven shots back after a 74.