DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Annika Sorenstam fired a 66
in the second round to take the outright lead in the Dubai
Ladies Masters, her final tournament, on Friday.
Starting the day four shots off the pace, the former world
No. 1 lit up her bogey-free round with a stunning eagle on
the par-5 third for a 36-hole total of 8-under-par 136. She's
one shot ahead of Australian Nikki Garrett, who also shot a 66.
Russian sensation Maria Verchenova, another player to match
the day's best score of 66, was tied for third at 6-under,
along with Veronica Zorzi of Italy and overnight
leader Johanna Head of England.
The day, however, belonged to Sorenstam, who once again was
followed by a big crowd in her last event before retiring.
Sorenstam, 38, is looking for a third straight Dubai title to end a glittering career on a high note.
"My goal was to clean up the round that I had on Thursday,
and with no bogeys today, I was able to do that. So, I have
every reason to feel pleased with my efforts," Sorenstam said. "I could have done even better. I had a lot of chances and
edges really. I hit some good putts that just didn't go in."
Sorenstam played brilliantly on the front nine, rolling in one eagle
and three birdies.
"I was very focused today and wanted to have a good round. I
gave all the energy I had. I need a good night's rest to get
ready for the weekend.
"I have been very pleased with the front nine. What
kick-started the day was that nice eagle on the third hole. I
hit a 5-iron to about 10 feet and holed the putt."