Korda finishes birdie-eagle, leads Evian during 2nd round

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) — Nelly Korda hit an approach to 3 feet and made the eagle putt at the last hole to take the clubhouse lead on 11-under par midway through the second round of the Evian Championship on Friday.

Just imagine what the American could do if she wasn’t suffering from jet lag.

Korda said she barely slept ahead of a morning start to her second round, which opened with what she described as 10 “stress-free” pars at the picturesque Evian Resort Golf Club.

And the Olympic champion was still even par for the day when she made a birdie putt from 15 feet at No. 14. That set up her grandstand finish: A birdie at No. 17 followed by eagle at the par-5 No. 18 that came after a high fade off her second shot which landed in the middle of the green and nearly rolled into the cup.

“It just turned out perfect,” Korda said after her 4-under 67.

This is Korda’s fifth event since returning to competitive action after more than four months out because of surgery on a blood clot on her arm. She has had three top-10s in that little stretch and looks in good shape to win her second major title, after the Women’s PGA Championship last year.

She was No. 1 in the world when she stopped playing, and now is No. 3.

So, what now for Korda after setting a fierce pace at the fourth major championship of the year?

“A nap,” she said with a smile.

The nearest challenger to Korda after the morning wave was Hyo Joo Kim, who shot 66 and was 8 under — three off the lead.

First-round leader Ayaka Furue shot 72, nine strokes worse than Thursday, and was a further shot back.


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