Sorenstam ‘cut’ out of action


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Annika Sorenstam had two hours to wait after finishing play to see if the Kingsmill River Course that had frustrated her again would help keep her in the Michelob Ultra Open by doing the same to others.

“We’ll see. It’s a long day left,” she said.

Not long enough. With a second straight 2-over-par 73 Friday, the top player in women’s golf missed the cut for the first time since 2002. She finished in a tie for 72nd, with the top 71 players continuing into Saturday on the 6,306-yard layout.

Sorenstam had made 68 consecutive cuts before enduring a second straight day with a balky putter, even as playing partners Karrie Webb and Cristie Kerr did well.

Webb, the first-round leader, is at 8-under 134 after a 68 and leads Kerr by one shot and Pat Hurst by two. Kerr shot a 66, and Hurst had her second consecutive 68.

For Sorenstam, who had finished no better than sixth in three prior appearances at the $2.2 million event, it marked only the second time in 143 events that she failed to make the cut, dating to June 1999, and the first time in 198 non-major events. The last time she missed the cut in a non-major was the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic in July 1994.

Sorenstam started the day tied for 68th, but appeared poised to make a push into contention when she made consecutive birdies on the second and third holes.

“I was hoping it was going to turn around. I really was,” she said. “But then it just kept on going the way it’s been going. Obviously, I’m very disappointed.”

Her putter, known for being streaky, didn’t stay hot long.

She immediately gave a shot back on the par-4 4th, missing a 5-footer to the right. She made bogeys at the par-4 6th and 9th holes, each time needing three shots to get down from the back fringe, and missed a short putt for another bogey at No. 10.

Oberholser fires record 60 at Nelson

IRVING, Texas – Aaron Oberholser knew as soon as he struck the putt that he had missed his chance at history.

Instead of becoming only the fourth player to shoot a 59 in a PGA Tour event, Oberholser settled for a 10-under 60 and the Byron Nelson Championship tournament record. His 15-foot birdie attempt on the 18th hole Friday curled and settled about a foot right of the cup.

“I read it high and I think I pushed it a little bit. … I didn’t hit my line exactly,” Oberholser said. “A 60 is not bad.”

After an opening 74, Oberholser moved within four streaks of co-leaders Adam Scott and Brett Wetterich, both at 10-under 130 through two rounds. Joe Ogilvie and Omar Uresti, both from Austin and in the same group, were tied for third at 133. Oberholser was with Phil Tataurangi and first-round co-leader Steve Lowery at 134.

Scott remained in the lead with his second straight 65, this one a bogey-free round at the easier Cottonwood Valley course, where Oberholser played his record round.

Wetterich played without a bogey on the TPC at Las Colinas – where all the weekend rounds are played. He closed with a 64 after a 13-foot birdie on the closing hole caught the edge of the cup and wrapped around while Wetterich leaned his body and waved his club.

“I had a few other putts that were close like that,” Wetterich said. “So it was nice to see that one go in.”

Oberholser never gave himself a chance on his birdie attempt at the 18th hole across the street. Still, it was a special round. After getting even for the tournament with a 4-under 30 on the front nine, Oberholser made four straight birdies after making the turn. It was during that stretch that he thought about the possibility of a 59, a mark reached only by Al Geiberger, Chip Beck and David Duval, who had the last one in 1999.

Casey shoots second-round 66

SUTTON COLDFIELD, England – Paul Casey shot a 6-under 66 Friday to open a three-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the British Masters at The Belfry on Friday.

Casey has an 11-under total of 133, with Darren Clarke in second place after his 2-under 70.

Eight-time European money winner, Colin Montgomerie, shot 75 and missed the cut at the Brabazon course for the sixth time in nine events this year.

Five players – U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell, Ian Poulter, Stephen Gallacher, Johan Edfors, and Peter O’Malley – were tied for third place at 7 under.

Casey won the last European Tour tournament played at The Belfry – the now-defunct Benson and Hedges International in 2003 – and also played his first professional event here in 2001.

“I was very happy with that,” Casey said. “I gave myself as many opportunities for birdies as I could and managed to save a couple of pars on 10 and 11. I feel lucky to get out with 66.

“There’s a lot of golf left yet. I’ve been very fortunate to keep it out of trouble – it’s far from over.” Clarke, whose wife is battling cancer, continued to play above his expectations.

Wadkins fires 62 at new Champions Tour stop

DESTIN, Fla. – Bobby Wadkins set a course record on the newest Champions Tour venue Friday, shooting a 9-under 62 to grab the first-round lead in the $1.6 million Boeing Championship.

Wadkins, who managed a second place tie earlier this year at Newport Beach, Calif., is trying to snap a five-year winless drought on the Champions Tour. He needed just 23 putts to get around the Raven Golf Club’s 6,931-yard layout at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort on a day when only 20 of 78 players broke par.

The 54-year-old Virginian had nine birdies in a bogey-free round to finish within a shot off his career best score. He birdied four of the first five holes on the backside and stood 8-under with four holes left before his final birdie at No. 17.

Wadkins, whose last Championship tour win came in 2001 in New York, led Curtis Strange and Don Pooley by four shots to match the tour’s biggest lead after 18 holes since Tom Purtzer’s 60 at Newport Beach, Calif., in 2004.