Originally created 08/16/97

Webb maintains 3-stroke lead at Women's British Open



SUNNINGDALE, England (AP) - Karrie Webb of Australia maintained her three-stroke lead in the Women's British Open today when she and runnerup Trish Johnson both shot 2-under-par 70s in the second round.

Webb, who fired a 65 Thursday, was 9-under 135 after two rounds. Johnson, who is British, was at 6-under 138.

American Barbara Mucha kept her chances alive by shooting a 67, leaving her four strokes behind Webb at 139.

Sweden's Liselotte Neumann, who shared second place after her first round 68, was a late starter. So were Juli Inkster, Rosie Jones, Helen Alfredsson, Laura Davies and Betsy King.

Nancy Lopez slipped on a rock while playing the 10th and hurt her arm trying to break the fall. Although she wasn't seriously injured, the fall certainly affected her play as she had five bogeys on the back nine to miss the cut with rounds of 77 and 79.

U.S. Open champion Alison Nicholas also appeared destined to miss the cut after following her opening 75 with a 74 for 5-over 149.

World No. 1-ranked Annika Sorenstam, who shot a first-round 72, was battling back into contention after opening with two birdies and sinking another two on the sixth and ninth. But after bogeying the par-4 seventh, she hit her tee shot into a bunker on the par-5 12th and took two to get out.

Sorenstam, striving for her fifth LPGA title of the year and her first British Open title, then drove into the rough on the short 13th for another bogey. She finished 2-under-70 for a total of 142.

Her sister, Charlotta, had the same score and was 3-under 141 along with Japan's Mayuni Hirase, who matched Webb's first-round score of 65.

American Deb Richard, who won last week's Friendly's Classic, remained 1-under after shooting par-72, but Amy Alcott crashed from 1-under to 6-over after nine bogeys, three of them on the last three holes.

Defending champion Emily Klein had three successive bogeys from the fourth and took a 72 to post a 143 total.