|Suzann Pettersen plays her tee shot to the fifth green in her second round of 69
|Leader Mika Miyazato
Japan’s Mika Miyazato shot a second round of two-under-par 69 in fine conditions at the Evian Resort Golf Course on Saturday to take a one stroke lead into the final round of the Evian Championship in France.
Playing on a damp course, the 23-year-old from Okinawa carded a pair of bogeys on her first two holes before making four birdies at the sixth, seventh, 13th and 18th.
She maintained her overnight lead ending the day a stroke ahead of Norwegian Suzann Pettersen and 16-year-old amateur Lydia Ko from New Zealand.
Stacy Lewis of the United States is in solo fourth on six-under-par, with South Korean trio Chella Choi, So Yeon Ryu and Se Ri Pak a stroke further behind in a share of fifth.
Miyazato has previous form at the venue, having led the Evian Masters by a stroke after a stormy second round in 2010, when she eventually tied for sixth place.
“It's (a) pretty tough day for me,” said Miyazato, who became a first time winner at the Safeway Classic last year on the LPGA, before Pettersen won the title a fortnight ago.
Pettersen’s round of 69 also included four birdies and two bogeys. She said: “It wasn’t a perfect round of golf but I managed to put a score together and give myself a chance for tomorrow. I made a few key pars and tried to take advantage of good playing conditions. There were a few tricky pins placements as well so it’s not that easy to get a four, five under. You can use the slopes to get close to the pins and it helps when you can have a few tap-ins.”
Ko, the world’s No.1 amateur with four wins in professional tournaments already, has the rare opportunity to become the youngest ever winner of a major championship with just 18 holes to play. A flawless round was sealed with a fourth birdie from three-feet on the difficult par-4 18th green.
The recent CN Canadian Women’s Open champion said: “I've never been really in kind of contention with the leaders at a major before. And because it's a 54‑hole event now, it's only one round to get the work done. Hopefully it will be a good day tomorrow. But, you know, I can't hit it as good as I did today every single day.
“I was one shot behind the leader, Caroline, at the Canadian Open. I'm the same I think behind Mika. But there are so many other people that are close. It's not like me and her playing. I just got to play my own game.”
The inaugural Evian championship was cut short to 54 holes after play was cancelled due to unplayable conditions on Thursday, with organisers expecting five times the amount of rainfall on Sunday.
South Korean I.K. Kim, Spain’s Beatriz Recari and Australian Lindsey Wright are all four shots from the lead in a share of eighth place with 18 holes to play.
England’s Holly Clyburn is the top ranked full-time LET member in a share of 21st place and only seven shots off the lead after a second-round 71.
“Patience was the key,” said Clyburn, the Deloitte Dutch Ladies Open champion. “I started nicely, took a birdie down 10 and then bogeyed 11 and 12. Just bad tee shots but grinded it out. I was unlucky on 17. I had a lip out for par and took bogey there and then took bogey down 18. I’m in the middle of the pack. The leaders have got their own problems to worry about but I can creep up behind them. I like coming up from behind and see where it leaves me.”
Elsewhere, Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall was poised to miss the cut after 11 holes, but made an amazing back nine charge coming home in 31.
She picked up five shots in her last four holes – including a hole in one on the difficult 16th – to finish on level par for the championship and four strokes inside the cut mark, which fell at four-over-par.