June 21, 2018

Jutanugarn charges into Evian Championship lead

17 September 2017, 09:42 | Joann Bryant

McDonald moves up at final major

Brittany Altomare of USA follows her ball after

The decision to re-boot the fifth and final major of this year's Ladies Professional Golf Association European Tour - which carries total prize money of $3.65 million (£2.76 million/€3.07 million) - received criticism from some players and observers, with the United States Jessica Korda, who was leading at two-under when play was scrapped, saying it "sucked".

Jutanugarn's first-round 65 put the young Thai player in prime position to claim her first LPGA title.

"I was obviously hoping that it was going to be short, but it definitely has been a little bit of a process, longer than expected", Nordqvist said of her recovery.

After a second-round 68 at the weather-shortened Evian, she is in pole position to become her country's second major victor.

The only sisters to have won on the LPGA Tour are Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam.

She claimed her third victory on tour, and first in seven years, at the Thornberry Classic at Wisconsin in July, when she admitted she nearly gave the game in 2015 and 2016 following seasons of struggle.

McDonald moves up at final major
Kirk in contention at major championship in France

But Mel Reid mixed four bogeys with two birdies in a 74 which saw her slide to one over, while Charley Hull will also be playing for pride in the final round after failing to build on a bright start to her 69. "I had some struggles here and there". I would be lying if I didn't say I was surprised the scores were wiped out.

Song has yet to crack the top 10 at a major championship, although she performed well here at Evian the last two years (T16 in 2015 and T17 in 2016).

At 35, Kirk's first win in seven years in Wisconsin in July has rekindled her appetite for the game. "Golf is amusing; I wasn't expecting it for sure, but yeah, I kind of surprised myself even, and certainly since then, it's just, yeah, been nice".

"That (win) was a huge confidence boost, especially after struggling for a couple years and questioning whether I'd be playing much longer", Kirk confessed after her second-round 69. But she went on to finish in a disappointing tie for 16th at St Andrews.

"It was really hard to stop (thinking) about it", the top-ranked Ryu said. "I can win out here, and just keep believing and keep doing the right things, and you never know what happens".

She went into the last day of play in third place, on seven-under par, two strokes adrift of Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn. Notable players outside of the top 72 in the current standings include rookies Aditi Ashok (76), Emily K. Pedersen (78), Olafia Kristinsdottir (79) and Mel Reid, as well as Americans Alison Lee (80), Paula Creamer (87) and Christina Kim (92).

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