Annika's sister is focused and in the lead

CORNING, N.Y. (AP) — Charlotta Sorenstam has the summer off from her other job, so watch out!

Preoccupied for most of the early season with helping her more famous sister start a golf academy in Florida, Sorenstam failed to make the cut in the three tournaments she entered and hadn't won a dime this year.

Barring a startling turn of events, that's about to change.

Sorenstam shot a bogey-free 8-under 64 on Thursday, matching her career low, to take a one-shot lead over Beth Bader after the first round of the LPGA Corning Classic.

"I've been teaching and trying to run the place (Annika Academy),'' Charlotta said. "I'm lucky because we're closed down for the summer. Now, I can get into tournaments.''

Bader, who also did not make a bogey, was one shot ahead of Paula Creamer, Shi Hyun Ahn and Jamie Hullett. Diana D'Alessio, Italian Giulia Sergas, rookie Charlotte Mayorkas and South Koreans Hye Jung Choi and In-Kyung Kim were tied at 67.

Ai Miyazato of Japan, Jean Bartholomew, Grace Park and Canadians A.J. Eathorne and Lorie Kane were among more than a dozen players at 68 as more than half the field of 144 broke par on a warm, sun-splashed day with barely a breeze.

The long-hitting Bader took advantage of the three short par 5s on the Corning Country Club course and finally began sinking some putts on her best round of the year. She was alone at the top of the leaderboard until Sorenstam, playing in one of the final threesomes, made a late charge.

Sorenstam, a former NCAA champion at Texas who won the 2000 Standard Register Ping for her lone LPGA Tour victory, hit 15 of 17 greens in regulation and needed just 25 putts. She closed with four birdies over her final five holes to put at least a temporary end to what has been a forgettable streak.

"I just needed a little break from playing,'' said Sorenstam, who made only four cuts in 16 tries and barely won $20,000 in 2006. "And her (Annika's) coach is the head instructor there (at the academy), so it was my way of seeing him a little bit more.

"I knew it was in me. That's why I never gave up.''

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