EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — With teen amateur Lydia Ko of New Zealand in pursuit, Mika Miyazato of Japan held a one-stroke lead Saturday after two rounds at the Evian Championship.
Miyazato shot a 2-under 69 and was at 8 under with a round to go in the fifth and last women’s major of the year.
The four-round tournament was cut to 54 holes after rain left the greens soggy. The course dried out somewhat Saturday but more showers are forecast for the final round.
Ko, who is 16 and plays with great composure, had four birdies in an error-free 4-under 67. Her only problem seemed to be her glasses, which did not cooperate in the weather.
“I’m having to clean all the time,” she said. “I really want to get contacts. Cars have got wipers, they should design one for glasses. I would myself if I could.”
Miyazato, whose day started with bogeys on the first two holes, is looking for her first U.S. LPGA title this year. Suzann Pettersen of Norway bogeyed her two holes on the back nine but had four birdies — as did Miyazato — for a 69 to share second with Ko.
“I didn’t play my perfect game of golf out there, but I made a few really good pars,” Pettersen said.
Ko successfully defended her Canadian Women’s Open title last month, and her game has not lost any of its touch.
“I definitely gave myself a lot of opportunities,” she said. “Hopefully it will be a good day tomorrow. But I can’t hit it as good as I did today every single day.”
Stacy Lewis, ranked No. 2, is two shots back in fourth after a 67. The American is chasing her second major title this season after last month’s British Open.
Top-ranked Inbee Park faces an enormous task in her bid for golf history. The South Korean is trying to become the first professional to win four majors in a season.
Seung-Yul Noh leads finals event: In Columbus, Ohio, South Korea’s Seung-Yul Noh shot a 1-under 70 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the third of four events in the Web.com Tour Finals series.
Jim Herman and South Africa’s Tyrone Van Aswegen were tied for second. Herman had a 67, and Van Aswegen shot 68. Argentina’s Miguel Angel Carballo was 6 under after a 69.
The bulk of the field is made up of players in the top 75 on the Web.com Tour money list and Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings. The top 25 on the Web.com regular-season money list are assured PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season, while the other players are fighting for 25 additional cards through earnings in the finals.
Luiten masters weather to take KLM Open lead: In Zandvoort, Netherlands, Joost Luiten mastered wet and windy conditions Saturday to shoot a 4-under 66 and take a one-shot lead after the third round of the KLM Open.
Luiten, aiming to become the first home winner of the tournament since Maarten Lafeber won the then-Dutch Open in 2003, chipped in twice during a round that featured six birdies and two bogeys. He has a 10-under total of 200 going into Sunday’s fourth round.
Overnight leader Miguel Angel Jimenez slipped to second with a 70 at the Kennemer Golf & Country Club.
Blustery winds and heavy rain made conditions tough on the links course on the North Sea coast west of Amsterdam.
“The first nine was really, really tough,” Luiten said. “It was raining really hard and the rain came in sideways. A lot of crosswinds. It was just all about surviving the front nine really and on the back nine the rain went away and it became a little bit easier.”
Luiten, seeking his second win of the season after taking the Lyoness Open in Austria in June, said the crowd helped him around the course.
Copyright © 2014, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved