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Estill (64) upstages Sorenstam for lead

By Associated Press
Published May 29, 2004

CORNING, N.Y. - The Annika chase didn't last long.

Just hours after Annika Sorenstam seemed assured of the second-round lead at the Corning Classic after 5-under 67 Friday, Michelle Estill shot a stunning 64 and was one stroke in front of the Swedish star.

Estill was at 13-under 131, one better than the 36-hole record set last year by Lorie Kane and Catriona Matthew. Sorenstam was second, four shots ahead of Carin Koch, who had 68.

Liselotte Neumann, who began the day tied for the lead with Sorenstam, struggled to 72 that included five bogeys, three birdies and an eagle. She was at 137, tied with Sherri Steinhauer (70), Natalie Gulbis (71), Mhairi McKay (66), Denise Killeen (68) and Laura Diaz (68).

In her fourth tournament of the year, Estill had five birdies and a bogey for 31 to match the tournament record on the back nine.

"I got off to a smooth start and just managed to stay afloat," said Estill, whose 15-foot birdie putt at No. 9 gave her the lead.

PGA: David Toms had his best round this year with 8-under 63 and led by one over Vaughn Taylor after two rounds of the St. Jude Classic in Memphis.

The defending champion had six birdies and an eagle for his 10th straight St. Jude round in the 60s and 12-under 130.

"It seems the more I've played this tournament, the better I've played. The last few years it's been good to me," Toms said.

At No. 16 in the world, Toms is the highest-ranked player in this event, and he isn't willing to give all the credit to the course. He missed three of his first four cuts here but finished fourth in 2002 and went 20 under last year.

"My golf game's gotten better over the last few years. That probably has a lot to do with it at as well," Toms said.

Taylor, who had never led a round in a PGA Tour event before Thursday, had a bogey-free 65. He plays with Toms in the final group today, a first he spent Friday trying to prepare for mentally by looking at his name on the leaderboards.

"I like seeing my name up there," Taylor said. "I'm trying to get used to it, so when I do see it it's not a shock."

Ben Crane was third, five back, after 65 followed by a four-way tie at 136 with John Daly (65), Tim Herron (64), Paul Stankowski (69) and Ted Purdy (64).

Daly, who needs a strong finish to earn an exemption to the U.S. Open, bogeyed his final hole when he tried to putt between two sprinkler heads on No. 9.

CHAMPIONS: Wayne Levi made four birdies just before the second round was suspended because of darkness and held a one-shot lead in the rain-delayed Senior PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky.

Levi was one of 72 who completed his first round at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday afternoon. Levi shot an opening 69, then made the four birdies through the first 11 holes of his second round to move to 6 under.

Gil Morgan was 5 under through 11 holes on his second round when play ended at 8:44 p.m. Hale Irwin and Tom Watson, among 78 who did not begin their second rounds Friday, were another stroke back.

First-round co-leader Jay Haas bogeyed two of his last four holes and was one of three at 3 under.

The second round was scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. today. PGA officials were hoping to complete the third round as well.

Kerry Haigh, the PGA's managing director of tournaments, said the tournament would finish Monday if necessary.

Arnold Palmer withdrew because of a hip injury, and Bob Murphy dropped out after injuring his wrist.

EUROPEAN PGA: Justin Rose shot 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead over Ernie Els and three others in the second round of the Volvo PGA Championship in Virginia Water, England. Rose led Phillip Price (65), Darren Clarke (67), Els (71) and Joakim Haeggman (67). Els, who led with a first-round 64, struggled on the greens but birdied the last two holes. World No. 2 Vijay Singh shot 73 and was six back.

[Last modified May 29, 2004, 01:00:33]


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