Just one-stroke separates early second round leader Mi Hyang Lee from Morgan Pressel, who carded the low round of the tournament on Friday at the Evian Championship. Pressel posted a 6-under par, 65 that included a bogey at the 10th, her first hole of the day, which increased her focus and determination the rest of the day, bouncing back with eight birdies and one other bogey to finish the day at 8-under par, one stroke back of Lee.
“I got off to a poor start today, bogeying the first hole, but it was raining and it was kind of chilly, and I didn't let that bother me and just kept trying to plug along and make more birdies as the day progressed and was able to do so,” Pressel told the media after her round.
Friday’s 65 is Pressel’s lowest round in 10 starts at Evian, where she has contended throughout the years, finishing in a tie for second in 2010 and T-6 in 2011.
“If you are on and hit your targets, especially on these greens, you can have short putts for birdies. But if you miss it, sometimes by a couple feet, it could spell double bogey. You've got to be on this week, especially with your ball-striking, and I think that's why you see such a discrepancy in the scores.”
Friday morning leader Lee went out in 31 to pull away from the field. She added one more birdie on the back nine’s par 5, 13th hole before dropping a shot at the par 4, 18th to finish at 9-under par. The South Korean holds the 36-hole lead for the first time in her career, thanks in part to a new caddie on her bag in veteran Mike Harig who began working with Lee in July at the Marathon Classic where she finished T-18.
“He's the oldest caddie on the Tour. He has a lot of experience, so that's a lot of help for me,” Lee told the media after her round Friday.
Given the magnitude of contending in a major championship, Lee says she’s focused on not getting ahead of herself this weekend.
“I want to play, just I want to concentrate for one shot, so I don't want to think the score, because a little nervous for me. So yeah, just I want to try just by one shot.”
First round co-leader Lexi Thompson teed off in the afternoon wave and is 1-over par through eight holes.