AUBURN, Calif. (AP) – Dawn Coe-Jones, who hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour since 1995, shot a 5-under 66 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead over seven players after two rounds of the Longs Drugs Challenge.

Cristie Kerr, who led by four strokes after an opening 62, had a second-round 75 that included a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 485-yard 15th, and was four strokes behind the leader.

Coe-Jones, whose best finish this season was a tie for 26th, changed putters earlier in the week. She had six birdies Friday and was at 133 after 36 holes.

“I’ve haven’t played great all year,” Coe-Jones, 44, said. “I’ve just been kind of plodding along, and I’ve struggled the last month or so. To be 9 under for the last two days, I’m thrilled.”

Riko Higashio, who carded a career-best 64 on Friday, was at 135 with Sherri Steinhauer (65), Heather Daly-Donofrio (66), Nicole Perrot (66) Joanne Morley (67), Lindsey Wright (68) and Beth Daniel (69).

Hee-Won Han, who had the day’s low round of 63, Michele Redman (67) and defending champion Christina Kim (68) were at 136.

Kerr, third on the money list this year, was in a group at 137 that included money leader Annika Sorenstam (69), who is seeking her fifth straight season of more than $2 million in earnings.

Kerr hit her tee shot on 15 into trees on the left and had to take an unplayable lie. She hit her third shot short of the fairway and then her fourth shot was off the green to the right. She mis-hit two short chips and then three-putted.

When she finally finished the hole, Kerr tossed the ball into the gallery.

“It was a bit of a meltdown out there, really,” she said.

Coe-Jones, a three-time winner on tour, missed the cut the last two weeks and has been bothered by tendinitis in her right elbow.

“It’s not like I’ve been there (in contention) every week, you know,” she said. “But it was just fun to be able to play a round of golf and not worry about making the cut.”

Tina Fischer, who had an opening 80, withdrew before the second round because of a shoulder and neck injury.

AP-ES-10-07-05 2137EDT


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