Lydia Ko – seven off the pace of leader Brooke Henderson – photo Stuart Franklin LPGA / Getty Images
Lydia Ko remains as the leading Australasian heading into round three of the Amundi Evian Championship, adding a second round of 69 to share 11th place as the event heads into the weekend in Evian Les Bain in France.
Ko finds herself seven shots behind Canada’s Brooke Henderson who leads by three over Nelly Korda.
“Yeah, I just had one bad hole and just a couple loose shots,” said Ko. “Other than that, it was pretty solid. Hopefully keep the positives and move on to tomorrow.
“I think it’s meant to rain tomorrow, so obviously the course is going to play a little bit differently because of that. So just I think just kind of play strategically with the conditions that we have.
“I feel like I’ve played in all sorts of different weather here, rain, winds, hail, sun. Yeah, hopefully that all comes together. I know that I played this course with like very different kind of games. Hitting it much longer that’s last few times I played compared to before.”
“We played in September where it’s a little bit softer and cooler as well.
“I think the course itself has played very different. You’re just trying to play with what’s given, but playing smart and aggressive is also important.”
Sarah Kemp heads the Australians in the field, her round of 4 under 67 today having her in a share of 16th place.
“Kind of just fits my game pretty well,” said Kemp when asked to describe her effort. “It’s fairly tight. The rough is pretty long. The fairways are tight in that aspect.
“I hit a lot of hybrids and I’m pretty good with my hybrids, so it fits my eye well. I like the speed of the greens.
“Then obviously the view. This town is just super cool. It’s got a bit of a chill vibe to it. All of the above really.”
Defending champion Minjee Lee improved slightly on her slow start to the event to be tied for 30th at 3 under par but she is now 11 shots behind Henderson, although last year she was a massive ten shots behind the leader Jeongeun Lee6 at the halfway mark and managed to win the event in a playoff.
A birdie eagle finish to her round today assisted Lee’s cause but she has a lot of work to do.
Hannah Green also recovered from a slow start to her week with a second round of 68 to be at 2 under and tied for 42nd while Stephanie Kyriacou also made the cut at 1 under and is 54th.
But it is the brilliant Henderson who has taken a grip on the tournament thus far. Consecutive rounds of 64, including three consecutive birdies to finish today, has her with a three shot advantage as she chases a second major title to go with her 2016 KPMG PGA Championship.
“You know, it feels really nice to get off to a fast start in a major championship,” said Henderson. “It feels like it’s been a while. To get it this far under par is really awesome.
“And I feel like I’m hitting the ball really well, which is nice. Making some putts. So two solid days, and I’m just really looking forward to the weekend.”
Brooke Henderson in full flight today – photo Stuart Franklin LPGA / Getty Images