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Star-Bulletin Sports


Friday, February 9, 2001


L P G A _ H A W A I I




Associated Press
Grace Park, who played junior golf in Hawaii,
watches her tee shot on the 10th tee yesterday.



Hjorth sprints to
lead on Big Isle

A pack of players aren't far
behind, including Webb and
Sorenstam, who are three back


By Bill Kwon
Star-Bulletin

KEAUHOU, Hawaii -- Maria Hjorth heard how nice it was from so many of the LPGA Tour players who played in last year's inaugural LPGA Takefuji Classic that she just had to play this year.

"I'm glad I came this week," said Hjorth, who shot a 5-under-par 67 yesterday at the Kona Country Club for a one-stroke lead over fellow Swede Sophie Gustafson, Nancy Scranton and Emilee Klein.

Tournament logo Adding to Hjorth's whale of a time despite the drizzly, overcast day was the sight of two whales spouting off scenic Keauhou Bay.

"I played really solid today. I hit a lot of greens, but I really didn't putt that good," said the 27-year-old, who birdied three of the four par-5 holes.

"It helps that I'm hitting it further than average, so I've got some shorter shots to the greens," added Hjorth, who was fifth in driving for distance last year. "But the greens are really tricky here. I hit a lot of shots close to the hole and missed them."

Defending champion Karrie Webb shot a 70, three-putting for a bogey on her final hole of the day -- the par-4 ninth - to find herself three strokes in back of Hjorth.

"Obviously, I didn't put myself out of the tournament or anything," said Webb, who defeated Annika Sorenstam in a playoff here last year.

Sorenstam also opened with a 70.

Gustafson, who won the Subaru Memorial of Naples three weeks ago, also birdied three of the four par-5s. But bogeys at the front nine's two par-3 holes cost her the share of the lead.

"I'm a more confident player than I was a year ago," said Gustafson, adding that winning gives her confidence. "But you've got to be able to hit certain shots. That's a key."

The key here is also hitting on the correct side of the greens, according to Scranton, who ended a seven-year drought last year by beating Hjorth in a two-hole playoff to win the Subaru Memorial.

"I did that today," said Scranton, whose longest birdie putt was a 10-footer at the par-4 16th that got her to 4-under. Her lone birdie came at the 414-yard, par-4 13th.

A career-threatening shoulder injury limited her to just one event in 1996.

"I've had four really tough years and played hurt for a while," said Scranton, who lost both of her parents that year.

Klein, who hasn't won since her only two victories in 1996, was the only one on the leader board without a bogey yesterday.

"The bottom line was that I didn't make any mistakes today," she said. "I mean, you won't hit every shot perfect, but I just didn't make any mental errors."

Her longest par putt was three feet after a birdie try from 40 feet at the uphill, par-4 13th.

"I was happy to make par. That hole's playing so long. The wind was kind of into to us, so I was ecstatic just to get there," said Klein, who used a 3-wood from 211 yards away.

Moira Dunn, a six-year pro looking for her first tour victory, also got to 5-under before double-bogeying 13 and bogeying 14. She came back with a birdie at the par-3 17th to join A.J. Eathorne, another non-winner, at 3-under 69.

Also finishing with a 69 was Danielle Ammaccapane, who returned to the tour last June after giving birth to her first child.

Playing in the same group with Hjorth, Brandie Burton was also at 5-under after 10 holes, but came in with three bogeys, including her final two holes of the day.

Burton joined 11 others at 70, including Webb, Sorenstam and Lorie Kane, who won three times last year, and 2000 rookie of the year Dorothy Delasin.

The low 70 players and ties will survive to play tomorrow's final round with the winner earning $127,500. The projected cut figures to be as high as last year's 36-hole score of 149 when only 30 of the 192 players broke par.

"Really tricky greens," said Hjorth, explaining the paucity of sub-par scores.

Scranton and Klein voiced the same thought.

Among those in danger of missing the cut are former University of Hawaii golfer Cindy Flom and Betsy King, defending champion of next week's Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open at Kapolei. They each shot a 5-over 77.

NOTES:

Sally Dee, who finished fourth last year, took a nightmarish 13 on the par-4 sixth hole and withdrew after shooting a 53 on the front nine. She drove out of bounds twice and hit another OB from the fairway after her third tee shot. ... The most difficult hole yesterday was the par-4 ninth, averaging 4.38. The par-5 second was the easiest hole with a 4.79 average score.


GOLF

LPGA-Takefuji Classic

At Kona Country Club
Keauhou, Hawaii
Purse: $850,000
First round
Yardage: 6,257; Par-72

Maria Hjorth -- 35-32--67
Emilee Klein -- 33-35--68
Sophie Gustafson -- 35-33--68
Nancy Scranton -- 35-33--68
A.J. Eathorne -- 35-34--69
Moira Dunn -- 33-36--69
Danielle Ammaccapane -- 35-34--69
Sherri Steinhauer -- 33-37--70
Helen Alfredsson -- 34-36--70
Pat Hurst -- 35-35--70
Lorie Kane -- 34-36--70
Annika Sorenstam -- 34-36--70
Nancy Harvey -- 36-34--70
Cristie Kerr -- 35-35--70
Brandie Burton -- 38-32--70
Karrie Webb -- 37-33--70
Dorothy Delasin -- 36-34--70
Caroline Blaylock -- 36-34--70
Gloria Park -- 37-33--70
Kellee Booth -- 35-36--71
Leslie Spalding -- 37-34--71
Sherri Turner -- 33-38--71
Mi Hyun Kim -- 36-35--71
Pearl Sinn -- 38-33--71
Jenny Lidback -- 34-37--71
Kelly Robbins -- 35-36--71
Kris Tschetter -- 35-36--71
Karen Weiss -- 37-34--71
Joanne Morley -- 36-35--71
Audra Burks -- 37-34--71
Karen Stupples -- 38-34--72
Cathy Johnston-Forbes -- 37-35--72
Wendy Ward -- 35-37--72
Yu Ping Lin -- 38-34--72
Allison Finney -- 38-34--72
Kim Saiki -- 36-36--72
Heather Bowie -- 38-34--72
Vicki Goetze-Ackerman -- 36-36--72
Hiromi Kobayashi -- 37-35--72
Heather Daly-Donofrio -- 37-35--72
Amy Fruhwirth -- 36-36--72
Jill McGill -- 37-36--73
Lisa Kiggens -- 36-37--73
Silvia Cavalleri -- 36-37--73
Leta Lindley -- 36-37--73
Jean Bartholomew -- 38-35--73
Michelle Ellis -- 36-37--73
Marisa Baena -- 38-35--73
Karen Pearce -- 39-34--73
Laura Diaz -- 37-36--73
Val Skinner -- 36-37--73
Nanci Bowen -- 36-37--73
Carin Koch -- 37-36--73
Marnie McGuire -- 37-36--73
Akiko Fukushima -- 36-37--73
Angela Stanford -- 35-38--73
Maggie Will -- 35-39--74
Jeong Jang -- 39-35--74
Eva Dahllof -- 35-39--74
Vicki Fergon -- 37-37--74
Catriona Matthew -- 38-36--74
Janice Moodie -- 37-37--74
Shani Waugh -- 37-37--74
Deb Richard -- 40-34--74
Beth Bader -- 36-38--74
Dodie Mazzuca -- 35-39--74
Grace Park -- 36-38--74
Susan Ginter -- 35-40--75
Patty Sheehan -- 37-38--75
Michelle Estill -- 37-38--75
Catrin Nilsmark -- 36-39--75
Kate Golden -- 37-38--75
Anne Marie Palli -- 40-35--75
Rachel Teske -- 36-39--75
Kristi Albers -- 35-40--75
Jan Stephenson -- 36-39--75
Mhairi McKay -- 36-39--75
Dana Dormann -- 36-39--75
Luciana Bemvenuti -- 38-37--75
Mardi Lunn -- 37-38--75
Joan Pitcock -- 38-37--75
Miho Koga -- 40-35--75
Michelle McGann -- 37-39--76
Kathryn Marshall -- 40-36--76
Liselotte Neumann -- 38-38--76
Cathy Gerring -- 39-37--76
Dale Eggeling -- 38-38--76
Laurie Brower -- 39-37--76
Jen Hanna -- 40-36--76
Heather Zakhar -- 37-39--76
Penny Hammel -- 38-38--76
Angie Ridgeway -- 36-40--76
Fiona Pike -- 40-36--76
Charlotta Sorenstam -- 37-39--76
Sara Sanders -- 37-39--76
Tamie Durdin -- 38-38--76
Cindy Flom -- 38-39--77
Wendy Doolan -- 36-41--77
Betsy King -- 40-37--77
Gail Graham -- 37-40--77
Pamela Kerrigan -- 38-39--77
Jennifer Feldott -- 39-38--77
Leigh Ann Mills -- 39-38--77
Kristal Parker -- 40-37--77
Ashli Bunch -- 40-37--77
Jean Zedlitz -- 37-40--77
Dina Ammaccapane -- 38-39--77
Jane Geddes -- 37-40--77
Donna Andrews -- 39-38--77
Hee-Won Han -- 37-40--77
Michele Redman -- 39-39--78
Mitzi Edge -- 38-40--78
Laurel Kean -- 39-39--78
Kelli Kuehne -- 37-41--78
Tina Barrett -- 40-38--78
Denise Killeen -- 40-38--78
Jennifer Rosales -- 38-40--78
Helen Dobson -- 41-37--78
Chris Johnson -- 39-39--78
Susie Redman -- 39-39--78
Jackie Gallagher-Smith -- 38-40--78
Becky Iverson -- 38-40--78
Kasumi Fujii -- 37-41--78
Cindy Schreyer -- 39-40--79
Suzy Green -- 40-39--79
Tracy Hanson -- 39-40--79
Nan Kyong Ha -- 42-38--80
Stefania Croce -- 37-43--80
Diana D'Alessio -- 42-40--82
Lisa Hackney -- 39-43--82
Kris Lindstrom -- 45-39--84
Sally Dee -- WD
Amy Read -- DNS



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