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KOCH OPENS THREE-SHOT BULGE IN MEXICO

Carin Koch had a 3-under 69 with an eagle 2 on Friday and went on to take a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the LPGA's Corona Morelia Championship.

Koch, who started the second round two strokes behind first-round leader Natalie Gulbis, holed a sand wedge from 97 yards for the eagle on No. 1, a 376-yard par-4.

"It was going straight in the hole and it just bounced once and went in the hole," said the 34-year-old who last won at the 2001 Corning Classic. "It was a really fun way to start."

She birdied No. 5, but missed a 6-foot par putt on the next hole. She dropped another sand wedge within 3 feet for a birdie on No. 8 that moved her to 7 under for the tournament. She got to 8 under with a birdie on 16, but missed a 4-foot par putt on 18.

"I definitely left some putts out there, I had so many chances," Koch said. "I think a lot of players are leaving a lot of putts out there because the greens are very difficult to read."

Wendy Ward, who won for the first time in nearly 4 years at the Takefuji Classic in Las Vegas last week, had a 69 and was at 4-under 140.

Ward opened the round with a birdie and then had five more in a six-hole stretch on the back nine.

She said a chat with her caddie on the 11th tee turned things around.

"I was able to start knocking down some pins, kind of like last week," she said. "It was a matter of staying patient with your shots. Taking your chances when they were more realistic."

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