Résumé Round 2 - Edition 2022

July 22, 2022 | R. Forgues


Second round summary

Brooke M. Henderson (CAN) has taken the reins of The Amundi Evian Championship 2022. The 24-year-old Canadian has repeated her performance from the first round and achieved a new card of 64 (-7) to become the sole leader of the tournament. Currently 10th in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, this year she competes for the seventh time in Evian and seems to have all the necessary weapons to win her second Major. She won the 2016 LPGA Championship in a playoff between rising stars of golf, against Lydia Ko (NZL). Since then, she has often been in the top 10 of the Savoyard competition but has never done better than 9th place, achieved a few weeks after her first Grand Slam victory. With a new driver to hand, iron strikes like darts and putting, which ended up rewarding her patience, the eight-times winner on the US tour shone in the glorious Evian sunshine.  She is a player who has been very aggressive since the start of the tournament and will share her round tomorrow with another player whose power has hit the mark this week, a certain Nelly Korda (USA).

Korda makes headway, Boutier left behind

Looking at her since her return to the course at the end of April (after having an operation on her left arm), you get the feeling that Nelly Korda (USA) never left the tour, with three top-10s out of 4 tournaments since her comeback, the 23-year-old American is back up where she last year. The Champions Course has defied her for a long time. Her best result here is a 19th place during the 2021 event, but here she is finally at the top of the event and of her talent. The world number 3 carded 67 (-4) this morning, to take second place in the event thanks to an overall score of -11. With an eagle on the 18th, after a final wood that landed  less than a metre from the pin, she didn’t let the course hold her back in any way in her quest for her second Major win (winner of the LPGA Championship in June 2021).

Sharing her group, Céline Boutier (FRA) had prime viewing position of the show of force from the Olympic champion, whilst she battled against her swing to try to stay within reach of the cut. The French number 1 lacked technical accuracy on her back nine and paid for her lack of confidence with a string of bogeys from 12 to 14. She finally managed to get closer to the flags from hole 16, where her wonderful iron shot allowed her to make birdie for a third time, beginning her final sprint to make the cut. Unfortunately for her, her attempts to get birdies on 17 and then on 18 didn’t drop. The European stars decorating her scorecard didn’t change a thing, the strength provided by memories of the Solheim Cup that they represented, nor her many supporters, the player from Clamart (France) will not be present this weekend.

The French crowd were however buoyed up thanks to the show offered by Perrine Delacour (FRA) this morning. For her ninth season on the LPGA Tour and her third participation at Evian, the experienced French 28-year-old finds herself amongst the best players on the planet. While she didn’t do quite so well as yesterday (66, -5), she hung on throughout her round to finally sign a bogey-free 68 (-3). A perfect illustration of all the determination she is showing this week, the authoritative par on 13, where she nevertheless left herself several meters to avoid conceding a shot to the course. This evening, she’s the best French player on the leaderboard, with Pauline Roussin-Bouchard (FRA) in 54th place and Agathe Laisné (FRA) in 70th. Of the French players, only Céline Boutier will be absent tomorrow.

H.J. Kim in contention, Furue flagging

The beauty of the surroundings and the quality of the greens are traditions at Evian. It looks like Hyo-Joo Kim’s (KOR) performances will soon become another. The 27-year-old South Korean is once again placed in prime position to attack the lead during the weekend of the major in Haute-Savoie. Winner of the 2014 championship, she has dominated the fairways of The Champions Course for so long that it has become normal for her to stack up sub-70 score cards. This week has been no exception to the rule. After an unobtrusive yet solid opening score of 68 (-3) on Thursday, this morning saw her hand in a card of 66 (-5), keeping the leader (6 shots ahead) firmly in her sights. Ranked 8th in the world and with three birdies in the final four holes of the second round (the 4th birdie narrowly missed on a 1-metre putt at the 18th), she is one of the players to keep a close eye on this weekend. Not forgetting that she currently holds the course record (since its reconstruction in 2013) with a stupendous 10 shots under par (61) scored during the first round of her very first Evian campaign.

Ayaka Furue (JPN) was less comfortable today. The Japanese prodigy struggled and has to settle for 11th place this evening. Top of the leaderboard after the first round thanks to a score of 63 (-8) peppered with 9 birdies, this morning she shot 72 (+1). Despite the lack of success and an agitated back nine, she kept smiling and maintained the constant good humor for which she is known in the United States throughout the 18 holes and even laughed at her own first widely missed putt on the 15th green.

Noteworthy at the top of the leaderboard are Carlotta Ciganda (ESP), winner of the Ladies European Tour at home in Spain two weeks ago, with her second 67 (-4) and the remarkable performances produced by South Korea’s Sei Young Kim and So Yeon Ryu, both sitting on a total of 9 under par. The Americans Sophia Schubert and Andrea Lee are just off the podium on -8.

 Snippets of news

- After a first-round 70 (-1), the defending champion Minjee Lee (AUS) is in a better position thanks to carding 69 (-2) this afternoon. She is in 30th place after the second round.

- No miracles for Ariya Jutanugarn (THA). After her first-round 77 (+6), the Thai player nevertheless gave a good fight and shot 67 (-4) today. Her sister Moriya carded 70 (-1) for the second time and will take on The Champions Course again tomorrow.

- Lydia Ko (NZL) and Jin-Young Ko (KOR) are neck and neck in 11th place. The two former winners of the major are on 7-under after the first two days.

- Defeated in a play-off at the 2021 tournament, Jeongeun Lee6 (KOR) had two complicated rounds (71 ; 79) and won't be at the tournament for the weekend.

- Rose Zhang is in 22nd place on the leaderboard after shooting 68 (-3) for the second time. She lives up to her status as world number 1 amateur, currently the best of them this week, one shot ahead of her compatriot Anna Davies (USA). Nine amateurs were at the start with only three left this weekend.

- For the first time of her career, Inbee Park (KOR) misses the cut in Evian. Recent media sources have announced the imminent retirement from the tour of the 34-year-old South Korean, who looked much less comfortable than usual on the greens.  Her aggregate score of +1 (72 ; 71) is not enough and she misses the cut by one shot.

# DAY 2