Friday’s roundup: Chun takes 2-shot lead at Evian
Evian-les-Bains, France — In Gee Chun posted a 5-under round of 66 to take a two-shot lead at the Evian Championship on Friday, keeping the 22-year-old South Korean on course for the second major of her career.
Chun, the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open champion, had a bogey on the fourth hole but otherwise played with great control, hitting six birdies in rainy and overcast conditions at the picturesque resort overlooking Lake Geneva.
“I always try not to think about winning,” said Chun, who missed the cut here last year. “Thinking about winning is more pressure.”
South Korean Sung Hyun Park, who shared the overnight lead with Chun, juggled three bogeys and six birdies in a round of 68, tying her for second place with Shanshan Feng — China’s only major winner.
So Yeon Ryu, who is also from South Korea, is three shots behind Chun in fourth place after posting 66, matching her score from round 1.
Feng was a shot back overnight, as was American Annie Park, while defending champion Lydia Ko of New Zealand sat seven strokes behind after a disappointing opening day in her bid for a third major by the age of 19.
Feng started to tire on the back nine, hitting two bogeys, but perked up with birdies on the final two holes for a 67.
“There’s no benefit for just long hitters,” she said. “The rough is really long.”
Ko fared better this time with a 68 but is nine shots off the lead.
Playing the back nine first, the South-Korean born New Zealander went out in an even 36. But Ko improved on her way back to the clubhouse with a bogey and four birdies — including a brilliant chip in from the edge of the green on the fifth for one of the shots of the day.
Teeing off at 7:45 a.m. local time did not work out well for Park.
She ended her round with a bogey on the 16th and double bogey on the 17th to finish with a 2-over 73 and drop down the leaderboard.
Second-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand recovered from her first-round 73 to make a consistent 67 featuring four birdies. But the British Open champion is 11 shots off the lead.
Ko and Jutanugarn are trying to win the Annika Major Award, rewarding the major winner with the best combined record at all five majors of the season. It is named after 10-time major winner Annika Sorenstam.
Veteran American Angela Stanford is four shots behind Chun in fifth place as she tries to win her first major at the age of 38.
“Usually by Friday this course has killed me,” Stanford said. “But I still feel like I have a little energy.”
Her best performance in a major was back in 2003, when she was tied for second at the U.S. Women’s Open.
“Having cameras around all day felt new again,” said Stanford, who has five career wins on the LPGA Tour. “For somebody that hasn’t been in that position for a while.”
Two-time major winner Brittany Lincicome is a shot behind her in a tie for sixth with South Korean Eun-Hee Ji.
Lincicome, who had nine birdies and four bogeys in her erratic 66, had a unique way of describing the course.
“There’s no flat lie anywhere, and then the greens are impossible,” the 30-year-old American said. “Like there’s elephants buried under every one of them.”
At Pebble Beach, California, Paul Broadhurst shot a 6-under 66 at Pebble Beach to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the PGA Tour Champions’ Nature Valley First Tee Open.
The 51-year-old Broadhurst won the Senior British Open at Carnoustie in July for his first victory on the 50-and-over tour. He won six times on the European Tour and played in the 1991 Ryder Cup.
With the professionals playing alongside boys and girls from The First Tee programs throughout the country, Broadhurst had 6-under 30 on the front nine. He had two birdies and two bogeys on the back.
U.S. Senior Open winner Gene Sauers, Craig Parry, Jay Don Blake, Kevin Sutherland and Tom Pernice Jr. were 4 under. Sauers, Parry and Blake shot 68 at Pebble Beach, and Sutherland and Pernice shot 67 at Poppy Hills.
Bernhard Langer opened with a 70 at Poppy Hills. The 59-year-old German star leads the tour with four victories this season. John Daly had two triple bogeys in a 74 at Pebble Beach. Fellow major champion Vijay Singh had a 75 at Pebble Beach, making three bogeys in a birdie-less round.
At Boise, Idaho, Andrew Johnston shot an 8-under 63 to take a two-stroke lead in the Albertsons Boise Open, putting the bearded Englishmen in position to wrap up a PGA Tour card.
Eighth in the British Open in July, Johnston had 10 birdies and two bogeys to reach 13-under 129 at Hillcrest in the second of four Web.com Tour Finals events.
Three-time PGA Tour winner Scott Stallings and Argentina’s Miguel Angel Carballo were tied for second. Stallings had a 65, and Carballo shot 64.
The series features the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings — Stallings was 128th, and Carbello 187th — and some non-members such as Johnston with enough PGA Tour money to have placed in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup had they been eligible.
The top 25 players on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list earned PGA Tour cards. They are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for 25 cards based on series earnings.
World Amateur Team Championship
At Riviera Maya, Mexico, Hye Jin Choi shot a 4-under 68 on Friday to help push South Korea’s lead to 14 strokes.
Sixteen-year-old Min Ji Park added a 70 at Iberostar Playa Paraiso for a 19-under 413 total, with only the best two scores counting each day for the three-player teams. Hyun Kyung Park had a 71.
The 17-year-old Choi, the low amateur at the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open, also topped the individual standings at 9-under 207 — three strokes ahead of Switerland’s Kim Metraux.
South Korea won the Espirito Santo Trophy in 1996, 2010 and 2012.
Switzerland was second. Metraux had a 69, sister and Florida State teammate Morgane Metraux shot 76, and Azelia Meichtry had an 82. The United States was seventh at 4 over. Andrea Lee shot 70, Mariel Galdiano 75, and Katelyn Dambaugh 78.
At Monza, Italy, England’s Chris Paisley topped the Italian Open leaderboard at 10 under after 13 holes when play was suspended for the day because of thunderstorms.
Masters champion Danny Willett of England was a stroke back, also with five holes left in the second round at Golf Club Milano next to Monza’s Formula One circuit.