Jeongeun Lee6 followed an opening round 66 with the low round of the day Friday as a 10-under 61 has her in the lead through 36 holes at the Amundi Evian Championship.
Lee6 birdied two of her first four holes then rattled off four straight birdies to close her opening nine and go out in 29. Four more birdies coming home resulted in a flawless round and gave Lee6 a three-shot lead over Ariya Jutanugarn and Pajaree Anannarukam heading into the weekend.
Lee6 said after the round that she wasn’t even feeling her best, which could be scary for the rest of the field down the stretch.
“I didn't feel my best. My swing still not perfect, but I try to focus on one shot at a time and my backswing shape and rhythm,” Lee6 said. “I focus on just process. I didn't dwell on the results. I focused on the process.”
Lee6 has put herself in position to win her second LPGA Tour event of her career, and she seems to save her best golf for major championships, with her lone win coming at the 2019 US Women’s Open.
“Major tournaments have more pressure and make me a little bit nervous,” Lee6 said. “Course conditions are a little bit tough. I'm going to focus on just swing rhythm and then not too much thinking on the course.”
Jutanugarn began her second round in the afternoon Friday and couldn’t help but notice Lee6’s move up the leaderboard before she even teed off.
“The way she plays is so impressive. I watched her play this morning because she finished before I played,” Jutanugarn said. “She made everything and it's a major so the course is so tough. She was 10-under, so amazing.”
Jutanugarn couldn’t quite match Lee6 Friday, but she will look to chase her down this weekend. Jutanugarn also made four straight birdies to close her front nine, and an eagle at the last finished off a flawless bogey free round.
Jutanugarn is one of two Thai players in a tie for second, as Anannarukam matched Jutanugarn’s eagle at the last and shot her second straight 65 Friday. Jutanugarn was quick to credit Anannarukam and the bright future of golf in Thailand.
“We have lots of golfers and we have the best golf course in Thailand, and the way they play is really inspiring me also. I'm sure It’s not going to be only two of them, so the Thai players keep coming,”Jutanugarn said.