Angela Stanford shot a 69 on Friday to remain in front at the Safeway International. Lorena Ochoa shaved two strokes off the lead by posting a 67, and stands in second place only one shot behind. Jee Young Lee is in third place at -10 three shots back while Annika Sorenstam and Michele Redman are tied for fourth at -8.
Stanford started the day right where she left off Thursday with birdies on her first three holes, reaching -13. Three bogeys in the middle of the round brought her back to the field but three more birdies kept Angela out in front of the Spitfire. Ochoa bogeyed only once but birdied two of her last three holes to get within one. Jelly started the day birdie-eagle-double bogey, then bagged four birdies on the back nine to card her second straight 67. Annika said in her GC interview that she’s not firing on all cylinders but with two rounds in the 60s and only trailing by five, I think she’s as likely to win as anybody else. Redman is the surprise entry near the top – back-to-back 68s haven’t been too common for Michele in recent seasons. Cristie Kerr had the day’s low round, a 64, to jump into the Top 10.
It was a little windier on Friday but the scoring was still very good. This didn’t prevent Sherri Steinhauer (77 -1), Yani Tseng (73 -4) or Paula Creamer (73 -2) from tumbling down the board. The cut nearly dipped under par but wound up at even, leaving 81 players alive to play the weekend. Going home are Morgan Pressel, Shi Hyun Ahn, Momoko Ueda, Karrie Webb, Seon Hwa Lee, Se Ri Pak, Sarah Lee and In-Kyung Kim. Keeping their heads above water were Louise Friberg, Meg Mallon, Stacy Prammanasudh, Juli Inkster, Moira Dunn and GRACE PARK! My enthusiasm for the Lovely and Talented One’s first advancement of the year is only tempered by the lack of attention Golf Channel gave her today despite playing alongside Creamer and Pressel, who received Grace’s share of time and then some. Being a former champion, I expect this deficit to be rectified at the Kraft Nabisco (on NBC, preferably).
Video to come in the AM.