Pettersen takes lead as rain halts tourney



Sixty-nine players were still on the course and three had not teed off.
DUBLIN (AP) -- Suzann Pettersen sidestepped a persistent downpour and a long list of challengers to take a one-shot lead at the Wendy's Championship for Children on Friday.
More than an inch of rain pounded the Tartan Fields Golf Club throughout the day, suspending play late in the afternoon -- as was the case in the first round.
"I don't really care. I'm from Norway," Pettersen said. "We grew up playing in this weather. I almost prefer playing in this than in 100-degree heat and 90-percent humidity."
Pettersen had just completed her round when the sirens sounded, beckoning those still on the course to wait out the storm in the clubhouse.
Will finish round today
The 69 players -- including three who never got to hit a shot in the second round because the first tee had to be squeegeed -- waited for another 90 minutes before play was again called off. They will return to finish the second round early today.
Pettersen, one of 66 players unable to complete the first round Thursday, capped an opening 67 with two pars and a birdie early Friday.
She continued playing nearly flawless golf, avoiding a bogey in both rounds, despite the stoppages in play, heavy rains, lightning and thunder. Her 68 left her at 9-under 135.
"I've been playing my 'A' game and I'm right up there, so I'm just trying to be patient and get something going," she said. "No bogeys for 36 holes -- that's pretty good. Yesterday I hit 17 greens and all the fairways, so I'm playing really solid golf."
One shot back
Defending champion Hee-Won Han and Reilly Rankin were one shot back. Han finished off a 66 and then followed with a 70, while Rankin followed an opening 71 with a second-round 65.
Also moving into contention were teenage amateurs Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie.
Creamer, the 18-year-old who came within a shot of a playoff at the ShopRite Classic in June, was at 2-under 142 after a second-round 70.
Wie, the long-hitting 14-year-old from Hawaii, was 3 over through 10 holes of the first round before battling back and shooting a 73. Then, she climbed the leaderboard with a second-round 69 to share 15th place with Creamer.
"Coming from 3 over to 2 under, that's pretty good for a rainy day," said Wie, who has made the cut in all six LPGA events she's played this year. "Overall, I think I played great."
Struggles at end
Creamer watched a sterling round slip away when she bogeyed two of the final four holes in her 70. She remained confident she could become the first amateur to win an LPGA event since JoAnne Carner in 1969.
"I expect it of myself," she said. "Coming into these tournaments, I feel that I can win."
Tied for fourth at 4-under 139 were Catriona Matthew, Marilyn Lovander and the 2002 and 2000 Wendy's winners, Mi Hyun Kim and Lorie Kane.
Kristi Albers, who opened with a 67 and held the first-round lead before play was called off Thursday, parred her first four holes of the second round and also was at 5 under when play was suspended.
The group at 3-under 141 included 2001 Wendy's winner Wendy Ward and reigning U.S. Open champion Meg Mallon, who has won three times in her last five tournaments.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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