Laura Davies still leads despite penalty
This was something new for Laura Davies -- a two-stroke penalty for putting from the wrong place. The penalty dropped her into a tie for the lead Saturday with Momoko Ueda at the Mizuno Classic.
"I'm just angry that this happened," Davies said. "This is my 20th year on tour and it's never happened."
The 44-year-old British player looked set to maintain her lead, but the penalty gave her a double-bogey on the par-4 14th. She settled for a par 72 and a tie with Ueda, who shot a 67. Both are at 7-under 137 after two rounds.
"I could have a three-, four-shot lead right now quite easily, which is just rotten really," Davies said. "I didn't make another birdie coming in, and now I'm tied for the lead instead of being two, three, four ahead. Very, very disappointed."
LPGA vice president Doug Brecht explained the ruling on the putt, citing rule 20-7. He said Davies marked her ball and was then asked to move her mark because it was in a competitor's line. He said Davies forgot to move her mark back and putted from the spot to which she had moved her mark.
"Laura played from a wrong place," he said. "She was penalized two shots and then continued to play from where she played from the wrong place."
Davies, who had a one-stroke lead after the first round, is bidding for her first win in Japan since taking the Itoen Ladies title for a fourth time in 2001. Ueda had six birdies and one bogey.
"It was a good round; I can't say it was perfect. I missed a few shots," Ueda said. "But I kept myself calm and patient like the advice I got from my caddie."
American Reilley Rankin, Sweden's Maria Hjorth and Japan's Mie Nakata are one stroke behind the leaders in the $1.4 million tournament at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club.
Karrie Webb, who came from behind to snap Annika Sorenstam's Mizuno Classic winning streak at five last year, is tied for 61st after a 76. Sorenstam is taking the week off.
Japanese star Ai Miyazato shot a 72 and is tied for 61st.