Originally created 06/26/04

Kung and Saiki share second-round lead in Rochester



PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Candie Kung and Kim Saiki shared the lead after two rounds of the Rochester LPGA on Friday. It was the name four spots down the list that was drawing the attention.

Annika Sorenstam shot a 6-under 66, the day's best round, to move into sixth place, just three shots behind the leaders.

Kung, a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour, had a 68 Friday at the tree-lined Locust Hill course and was tied at 9-under 135 with Saiki, who is winless in 13 years on tour. She had a second-round 69.

Becky Morgan was a stroke back after a 67, while Rosie Jones (68) and Juli Inkster (69) were at 137.

After an even-par opening round, Sorenstam charged out in 31 on the front nine, making an eagle on the par-5 8th by holing out from a greenside bunker.

"You don't want to be too far behind when the weekend starts but then again you've got to be patient - it's a long ways to go," said Sorenstam, who has won four times in eight starts this year. "I'm very happy with my round. Six-under is good on any course any day."

Kung, 22, who barged to prominence in her second year on tour, said she has fought for months to recapture last year's red-hot streak when she won the LPGA Takefuji Classic, Wachovia LPGA Classic and the rain-shortened State Farm Classic.

"I've struggled a little bit with my swing but now I think we've got it back," she said. "It's just a bit more smooth.

"I don't know how it's going to go the next two days but I'm going to try to go out there and just do what I did last summer and hopefully I'll be able to get that feel back."

Kung rolled in three curling putts of 12 to 15 feet for birdies. Her only blemish came on No. 6 when she drove behind a tree, had to punch out and just missed her par putt.

Saiki picked up her first bogey of the tournament on 16 when she three-putted after her drive caught the right rough. She made amends on the next hole with her fourth birdie, making a 9-footer.

"It's not any different than any other day," she said. "If I play well enough, I'll come out on top."

Defending champion Rachel Teske was at 140 after a second 70.

A drizzly, overcast day reminded Morgan of her home in Wales, as did the old-style course with its tight, undulating fairways and compact greens.

"I think this is a good golf course for the shorter hitters who are very accurate," she said.

Morgan, 29, who has finished second twice since joining the tour in 2001, fits both categories.

She led the tour in driving accuracy last year at 83.4 percent and is third this year, improving to 84.4 percent. But the 5-foot-2 graduate of North Carolina-Greensboro lags on distance - she is averaging 241.6 yards this year, 135th on tour.

Morgan has gone 80 consecutive holes without a bogey here. She picked up where she left off last year when she set a tournament record by playing her final 44 holes without bogey.

The $1.5 million tournament is sponsored by Wegmans, a grocery store chain.