HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. Lorena Ochoa had 17 good chances at birdie Friday and made enough of them for her lowest round ever in the LPGA Championship, a 7-under 65 that gave her a one-shot lead in her quest for a third-straight major title.
"It was very easy. I did enjoy it a lot," Ochoa said. "I'm going to try to do two more rounds like that."
She was at 10-under 134 and had a one-shot lead over Lindsey Wright (68). It was the lowest 36-hole score at Bulle Rock since the McDonald's LPGA Championship moved here in 2005. Perhaps even more intimidating was the name next to it.
Ochoa had at least a share of the 36-hole lead in the Women's British Open at St. Andrews and the Kraft Nabisco and won both those majors by a combined nine shots.
She took the lead at Bulle Rock with one final birdie, a 20-footer on the 18th hole. Ochoa swung her leg and pumped her fist, happy to see the last putt fall on a day when she missed a half-dozen putts shorter than that.
"I think today was my best round in the season," said Ochoa, a bold statement considering she has won six times in nine starts.
Lorie Kane of Canada made three straight birdies to catch her until she got quick with her swing and had to settle for 70, leaving her two shots behind at 136.Three-time LPGA champion Annika Sorenstam tried to make a move with a 68, but she was still four shots behind. But she sounded as though she anticipated a duel with the No. 1 player on Sunday.
PGA TOUR: At Memphis, Tenn., everyone at the TPC Southwind wanted a nice warmup for the U.S. Open. They got as good a simulation as possible thanks to gusting wind and firm greens that made par an attractive score. Tommy Armour III double-bogeyed No. 18 and fell into a six-way tie atop the leaderboard after two rounds at the Stanford St. Jude Championship on a day where only 13 players were under par. It was the most players tied for lead at the halfway point on the PGA Tour since a six-way tie last year at the Shell Houston Open. Armour finished with a 71. He was tied with Gavin Coles, whose 64 was the low round through the first two days, former BYU golfer Dean Wilson (68), Jason Dufner (68), Michael Bradley (68) and Marc Turnesa (69) at 3-under 137 the highest 36-hole total on the PGA Tour since Angel Cabrera at the Open last year when he was at even par-140.