Stacy Lewis of the United States shot a 3-under 69 to keep the lead after the second round of the Evian Masters on Friday, one stroke ahead of South Korea’s Ilhee Lee.
Lewis finished at 12 under, a day after shooting 63 in an opening round that included nine birdies.
”Today was actually a little bit of a struggle for me. I wasn’t really sure how I would play coming off a good score yesterday,” said Lewis, who is chasing her third LPGA Tour title of the year. ”It’s hard when you make pars and you feel like you’re going backwards because of all the birdies I made yesterday.”
Lewis seemed to pick up where she left off with a birdie on No. 4 and an eagle on No. 7. But she had bogeys on the 12th and 14th holes.
Lee had four consecutive birdies on the back nine to finish with a 67. American Paula Creamer (67), the 2005 Evian champion, and former US Women’s Open champion Inbee Park (64) were three shots behind Lewis.
Cheyenne Woods made her first professional cut in her third LPGA tournament. The 23-year-old niece of Tiger Woods shot a 69 to tie for 18th.
”I’m so excited,” Woods said. ”It feels so good, one, to be out here in France, and then to play so well and finally make a cut.”
Woods, who attended Wake Forest, got a sponsor exemption. She plans to become a member of the LPGA by entering the qualifying tournament this fall.
”I was hitting the ball really well,” said Woods, who had a birdie on the final hole. ”I think I hit like 15 greens. Still didn’t make a few putts here and there, but overall I was very happy with my game.”
Top-ranked Yani Tseng missed her second cut of the season, following an opening-round 76 with a 71 to finish at 3 over.
Creamer had five birdies in her round.
”I only missed two greens today, which is a lot better than yesterday,” Creamer said. ”One of my strengths in my game is irons and just giving myself opportunities, and today I kind of took advantage of that and made some good putts.”
Natalie Gulbis had a 69 to trail by six shots, while Karrie Webb (69) and Se Ri Pak (69) were another stroke back. Cheyenne Woods (69), Cristie Kerr (69), Brittany Lang (69) and Suzann Pettersen (71) were eight shots behind the leader.
Lewis recovered to make birdies on 15 and 18 and just did enough to regain the lead from Lee, who was three shots behind to start the day.
”You have to make birdies here. You can’t try and force it though — that’s the hard part,” Lewis said. ”You want to try and birdie every hole but that’s usually when you get in trouble. So it’s just staying patient out there, climbing up that leaderboard.”
On Thursday, Lewis’s birdie run included seven in a row. It matched three-time champion Helen Alfredsson’s tournament record round set in 2008.
Lee tied for fourth place at the US Open three weeks ago.
”My putting feels really good this week,” she said. ”The last tournament, in US Open, that makes me more confident. So everything is getting better.”
Defending champion Ai Miyazato shot 70, nine shots back.