Sun, Sep 13, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Lee Mi-hyang takes lead at Evian Championship


Lee Mi-hyang of South Korea studies the second hole during the second round of the Evian Championship women’s golf tournament in Evian, France, on Friday.

Photo: AP

What she lacks in experience, 22-year-old Lee Mi-hyang makes up for with advice from her 69-year-old caddie.

The South Korean took the sole lead at the Evian Championship after a four-under 67 on Friday in the second round. With a nine-under total of 133, Lee entered the weekend of the final major of the season with a one-shot lead over American Morgan Pressel.

While Pressel has already won a major, Lee is chasing her first. She has showed that she can hold her nerve when it really matters — claiming her only victory on the USLPGA Tour last year at the Mizuno Classic after coming out on top of a three-way playoff with a birdie on the fifth extra hole.

To add an extra dose of knowledge to her game, she hired veteran caddie Mike Harig. They started working together in July.

“I’m a young player and he’s pretty old, 69 years old, the oldest caddie on the tour,” Lee said. “He has a lot of experience, so that’s a lot of help for me.”

Pressel gave herself a chance of a second major win after making eight birdies.

Kaohsiung-born Taiwanese-American Candie Kung and Taiwan’s Min Lee were best-placed among Taiwanese at the tournament on 142 overall and tied for 23rd.

Kung hit a second-round 71, while Lee shot 74.

Tied for 66th was Cheng Ssu-chia (146 overall) and tied for 76th was Hsu Wei-ling (147). Yani Tseng missed the cut.

Top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea, seeking a career Grand Slam, made six birdies, but struggled on the back nine with two bogeys and a double bogey on the par-four No. 11. She was tied for 20th, eight shots off the pace, with two Americans — Michelle Wie and Beth Allen. Wie hit a second-round 66 after an opening 75.

Pressel carded a six-under 65, the lowest score so far at the tournament. She was tied for 12th when starting the day in cold and rainy conditions and bogeyed twice in her five first holes, before thriving once the sun broke through.

Pressel’s US Solheim Cup teammate, Lexi Thompson, who shared the lead with Lee at five-under after the opening round, is now trailing the South Korean by five shots after shooting a one-over 72.

Holding a share of the first-round lead for the first time, Lee picked up where she left off on Thursday night.

Back on the course on Friday at 8:18 am, she birdied the par-four first hole and added three more before the turn.

She birdied the par-five 13th, but fluffed an easy birdie putt on the par-three 16th after landing a very long iron three feet from the hole, and stumbled with a bogey on the par-four 18th.

Nicole Broch Larsen, fresh from winning the Helsingborg Open on the European Tour, had no problem with the early showers on the shores of Lake Geneva, starting her second round with two birdies in her four first holes.

Playing in the Evian Championship for the first time, she hit three more birdies on her back nine to make up for a bogey on the par-three 5th. She carded a 67 that lifted her to third place, two shots behind Lee.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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