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Archive for Saturday, September 22, 2001

Klein manages one-shot lead

September 22, 2001

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— Emilee Klein finished off a long day with a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Sherri Steinhauer and Meg Mallon halfway through the second round of the rain-shortened Asahi Ryokuken International.

Steinhauer shot a 66 Friday, her lowest round since March. Rosie Jones had a 68 for a 5-under total, matching first-round leaders Marianne Morris, Vickie Odegard and Laura Diaz who did not play Friday.

"Let's get this straight, I don't exactly have the lead," said Klein, who won the Michelob Light Classic in July. "I had a shot at them today and they have a shot at me tomorrow."

Klein had two holes left in Thursday's first round, suspended when a thunderstorm swept over Mount Vintage Plantation. After waiting 212 hours through Friday morning, Klein, Steinhauer and 69 others took to the course.

By the time the round was completed, officials had sliced off 18 holes, decreeing that those who had finished Thursday would take Friday off and return for a second round today.

Those ending Friday would continue for 18 more holes and then skip Saturday.

After cutting the field, the first-year tournament would conclude Sunday.

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"I've never heard of such a scenario in my life," said Annika Sorenstam, who shot a 69 to move three shots behind. "It's bizarre."

Barb Trammell, the LPGA vice president of tour operations, said the split groups were the most equitable way of making up about five hours of lost golf time. "It was very important for us and our sponsor to try and finish on Sunday," she said.

Klein was out hitting balls in the fog at 6 a.m. She left the course for an hour to walk her dog. "I didn't think it was fair to leave her alone," Klein said.

She had four birdies, two on each side, and has gone through 36 holes without a bogey. "I didn't come close to making a bogey," Klein said. "I've been playing real solid."

Steinhauer returned for one hole, then sat in her car for two hours before teeing off again listen to news talk shows catching up on the latest developments about the terrorist attacks on America.

"Sometimes, it doesn't feel right to play golf," she said. "I wish there was something I could do, but you know you can't."

Steinhauer's second round got going on her final nine holes. She hit a 6 iron to 2 feet for a birdie on No. 2, then rolled in a 15-footer for eagle on No. 6, a par-5.

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