Jeongeun Lee6’s record-breaking round sets pace in Evian Championship

Leona Maguire makes cut but has mountain to climb to close gap on South Korean

  Jeongeun Lee6’s 36-hole total of 127 created a new record low in a Major – for women and men. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Jeongeun Lee6’s 36-hole total of 127 created a new record low in a Major – for women and men. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

 

South Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 became a history-maker – shooting a 61 for a record low 36-holes total of 127, 15-under-par in a Major championship – as she set her sights on the Amundi Evian Championship on the shores of Lake Geneva, where both Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire comfortably made the cut in aiming for a weekend charge.

Meadow showed a welcome return to form with a second-round 68 to reach the midpoint on 139, while Maguire birdied the 18th to add a 70 to her opening 69 to also be on that mark in tied-25th position but with a mountain to climb in their efforts to close the gap on Lee6.

Having missed the cut in five of her last six tournaments on the LPGA Tour, Meadow – playing in her last event before heading to Tokyo for what will be a second Olympics appearance – had seven birdies and four bogeys in a round that saw her make an upward move.

For Maguire, the highlight of her round came early on when she holed out with her approach shot to the Par 4 fourth for an eagle two in a two that also featured three birdies and four bogeys. The 26-year-old Co Cavan golfer – also Olympic bound – reached the Par 5 18th in two but saw her 25 foot eagle putt roll four feet by the hole before she holed out for a closing birdie.

Survive

Nelly Korda, the world number one, was in a fight to survive the cut after an opening 74 but responded brilliantly with a 67 to make it through to the weekend on the 141 mark, in tied-40th, in her quest to claim back-to-back Majors after her breakthrough win in last month’s KPMG LPGA Women’s Championship.

However, Lee6 was the star of the show with a bogey-free haul of 10 birdies, the ninth of which was a chip-in from greenside rough on the eighth (her 17th of the round) and then finished with a closing birdie on the Par 5 ninth to equal the low 61 in a Major first shot by Hyo Joo Kim in the 2014 Evian.

Lee6’s 36-hole total of 127 created a new record low in a Major – for women and men – and gave her a three-stroke lead over Thai pair Ariya Jutanugarn and Pajaree Anannarukarn. Her round of 61 equalled the lowest in any Major, but her personal record is a 60 shot on the Korean circuit.

Seeking to claim a second career Major to go with her 2019 US Women’s Open success, Lee6 said: “I didn’t feel my best. My swing is still not perfect but I tried to focus on one shot at a time and [give] my backswing shape and rhythm. I focus on process. I didn’t dwell on the results, [just] on the process.”

She added: “Major tournaments [bring] more pressure, more nervous. The course condition is a little bit tough. I’m going to focus on just swing rhythm [over the weekend] and not too much thinking on the course.”

Leaderboard

British and Irish unless stated, par 71

127 Jeon-Geun Lee (Kor) 66 61

130 Ariya Jutanugarn (Tha) 67 63, Pajaree Anannarukarn (Tha) 65 65

133 Lydia Ko (Nzl) 68 65, Yealimi Noh (USA) 65 68

134 Ayaka Furue (Jpn) 66 68

135 Ind-Bee Park (Kor) 71 64, Hyo-Joo Kim (Kor) 67 68, Atthaya Thitikul (Tha) 66 69, Lauren Stephenson (USA) 66 69

136 Ind-Gee Chun (Kor) 68 68, Emily Kristine Pedersen (Den) 66 70, Sarah Kemp (Aus) 67 69, Mina Harigae (USA) 69 67

137 Min-Jee Lee (Aus) 68 69, Brittany Lang (USA) 69 68, Matilda Castren (Fin) 68 69

138 Brooke Henderson (Can) 69 69, Amy Olson (USA) 71 67, Hee-Young Park (Kor) 70 68, Charley Hull 70 68, Celine Palomar-Herbin (Fra) 68 70, Muni He (Chn) 69 69, Jennifer Song (USA) 70 68

139 Sophia Popov (Ger) 69 70, Lizette Salas (USA) 73 66, Leona Maguire 69 70, Ryann O’Toole (USA) 71 68, Marina Alex (USA) 70 69, Stephanie Meadow 71 68

140 Tsubasa Kajitani (Jpn) 68 72, Austin Ernst (USA) 69 71, Moriya Jutanugarn (Tha) 68 72, Esther Henseleit (Ger) 70 70, Amy Yang (Kor) 71 69, Wichanee Meechai (Tha) 70 70, Christina Kim (USA) 71 69, Elizabeth Szokol (USA) 70 70, Paula Reto (Rsa) 68 72

141 Lucie Malchirand (Fra) 69 72, Nelly Korda (USA) 74 67, Jin-Young Ko (Kor) 72 69, Sei-Young Kim (Kor) 71 70, Jennifer Kupcho (USA) 73 68 , Georgia Hall 69 72, Cheyenne Knight (USA) 69 72, Rose Zhang (USA) 72 69, Celine Boutier (Fra) 69 72, Angel Yin (USA) 73 68, Brittany Altomare (USA) 71 70, Chella Choi (Kor) 70 71, Eun-Hee Ji (Kor) 70 71, Lindsey Weaver (USA) 68 73, Jeong-Eun Lee (Kor) 70 71, Alena Sharp (Can) 69 72

142 Pauline Bouchard (Fra) 68 74, Maria Fassi (Mex) 68 74, Jessica Korda (USA) 73 69, Anna Nordqvist (Swe) 71 71, Madelene Sagstroem (Swe) 69 73, Stephanie Kyriacou (Aus) 73 69, Olivia Cowan (Ger) 71 71, Jenny Shin (Kor) 70 72, Ashleigh Buhai (Rsa) 69 73, Jaye Marie Green (USA) 72 70, Bronte Law 70 72, Emma Talley (USA) 72 70, Hae-Ji Kang (Kor) 71 71, Kristen Gillman (USA) 69 73

143 Som-Yeon Ryu (Kor) 69 74, Alice Hewson 72 71, Jennifer Coleman (USA) 75 68, Ana Belac (Slo) 72 71, Alison Lee (USA) 70 73, Pornanong Phatlum (Tha) 70 73, Mi-Hyang Lee (Kor) 75 68, Jennifer Chang (USA) 71 72

Missed cut

144 Ally Ewing (USA) 76 68, Mi-Rim Lee (Kor) 72 72, Mi-Jung Hur (Kor) 74 70, Lee-Anne Pace (Rsa) 72 72, Pia Babnik (Slo) 68 76, Morgane Metraux (Swi) 73 71, Brittany Lincicome (USA) 76 68, Giulia Molinaro (Ita) 72 72, Perrine Delacour (Fra) 73 71

145 Sung-Hyun Park (Kor) 74 71, Megan Khang (USA) 74 71, A-Lim Kim (Kor) 72 73, Angela Stanford (USA) 70 75, Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Den) 74 71, Gerina Piller (USA) 71 74, Albane Valenzuela (Swi) 77 68, Azahara Munoz (Esp) 71 74, Katherine Kirk (Aus) 73 72, Jodi Ewart 72 73, Marissa Steen (USA) 75 70, Lindy Duncan (USA) 71 74

146 Pernilla Lindberg (Swe) 71 75, Wei Ling Hsu (Tai) 74 72, Carly Booth 75 71, Christine Wolf (Aut) 72 74, Aline Krauter (Ger) 71 75, Cydney Clanton (USA) 70 76, Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha) 71 75, Su-Hyun Oh (Aus) 73 73, Dottie Ardina (Phi) 71 75

147 Carlota Ciganda (Esp) 74 73, Leonie Harm (Ger) 75 72, Caroline Masson (Ger) 73 74, Dana Finkelstein (USA) 76 71

148 Paula Creamer (USA) 75 73, Sarah Schmelzel (USA) 76 72, Aditi Ashok (Ind) 75 73

149 Brooke Matthews (USA) 71 78, Natalie Gulbis (USA) 73 76, Daniela Holmqvist (Swe) 75 74, Ssu-Chia Cheng (Tai) 77 72

150 Yu Liu (Chn) 76 74, Nicole Broch Larsen (Den) 78 72

151 Anne van Dam (Ned) 70 81

152 Min Lee (Tai) 74 78

153 Sanna Nuutinen (Fin) 75 78, Luna Sobron (Esp) 79 74

155 Natalie Srinivasan (USA) 77 78

160 Jing Yan (Chn) 84 76

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