**TV UPDATE: Round 3 will air on Golf Channel from 3:00 AM - 8:30 AM ET**
AMY OLSON RETURNS TO SCENE OF 2018 HEARTBREAK
The 18th hole at Evian Resort Golf Club may have changed from a par-4 to a par-5, but it is still a bittersweet place for Amy Olson. In 2018, the North Dakota native stepped to the 18th tee on Sunday with a one-stroke lead. She walked off the green with a double bogey, losing her first major title to Angela Stanford by just one stroke. While Olson has moved on from that heartbreak, thoughts of what could have been understandably still resonate.
“I always say after a missed cut it takes me about 45 minutes to just settle down. That one took me a good two days,” said Olson. “I'm not going to say it still doesn't hurt. I would still love to go back and change things. You can't, and that's just part golf. Just nice to be here again and playing well.”
A year later and Olson is firmly in contention to salve last year’s wounds. After a first-round 70, Olson gathered steam on Friday, carding seven birdies, including on that infamous No. 18, to just two bogeys and enters the weekend tied for sixth.
“Just nice to make some birdies and bounce back. I had a couple bogeys out there, so always good to see some putts fall,” said Olson. “Seemed like if I missed, other than a couple them, I was missing in the right spots to where I could kind of salvage it, and then threw some darts.”
MI HYANG LEE THANKFUL FOR EVIAN MEMORIES
The end of both nines provided Friday fireworks for Mi Hyang Lee, who started the second round at the Evian Championship just one stroke off the lead. The 23-year-old from the Republic of Korea made a double-bogey at the par-5 ninth, but more than balanced out that mid-round hiccup with consecutive birdies at 16 and 17 an eagle-3 at No. 18 for a 4-under 67. She heads into the weekend at -10, one stroke clear of her countrywomen Hyo Joo Kim, Sung Hyun Park and Inbee Park, a group that holds a combined 10 major titles.
“Yesterday I missed the fairway on hole No. 9 then made par and today, I hit the fairway but I missed my second shot to the right. I didn’t expect a birdie, but also didn’t except the double either,” said Lee, who has two career LPGA victories and finished a major-best T2 at the 2019 ANA Inspiration. “I thought I could make the par but it was worse to make the double, so my mental is so mad at myself. Try to think just I have nine holes left and two more rounds left. I try keep thinking more positive and just keep going. Then was good.”
Lee is making her sixth consecutive start of The Evian Championship but it was her very first start of the event in 2013 that turned her career around. That year, prior to the week in Evian, she had made just seven cuts in her 15 starts, with $33,553 in earnings. She entered the field from the reserve list and managed to finish T19, more than doubling her season’s earnings with $35,628.
“Evian is always a place where I have a lot of good memories. I always seem to play well here. Even when I’m not feeling good, on tournament days it seems to turn around,” said Lee, who has three top-10s here. “I think that Evian has always meant a lot to me, ever since my rookie year. With my finish that year, I would’ve had to go back to Q-school so if I had to go back, I don’t think if I would be in this position now. That year, I entered the field to fill in some more spots so I’m very thankful for that opportunity.”
HEALTHY HEDWALL IN CONTENTION AT EVIAN
“I guess I haven't played this well since 2013.”
Those are welcome words to hear from Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, who shot a 7-under 64, tied for Friday’s low round, to jump into a tie for seventh at -6. Hedwall enjoyed a decorated amateur career before joining the LPGA Tour in 2011 and played well her first few seasons. She tied for fifth at the 2012 Kia Classic and took a starring role for Team Europe at the 2013 Solheim Cup, where she became the first player in Cup history to go 5-0-0 in a single match. She also notched four Ladies European Tour (LET) titles in 2011 and added a fifth to her roster in 2012.
But that success was derailed by a wrist injury she sustained while picking up a piece of luggage in 2014, which sent Hedwall’s game spiraling. She also spent a full season unable to hit driver due to a ganglion cyst that was surgically removed from her wrist. Once 21st in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, Hedwall fell as low as 211.
“(It’s) been a struggle. I feel like, yeah, I just haven't got what I want out of my golf,” said Hedwall, the 2010 NCAA national champion for Oklahoma State University. “I know I can do better. It's just on a struggle and definitely been tough on my confidence.”
Hedwall has shown flashes of her old game over recent seasons, splitting her time between the LPGA and the LET. A breakthrough came in September 2018, when she won the LET’s Lacoste Ladies Open de France. With a berth on the 2019 European Solheim Cup roster on the line, perhaps this week in Evian could finally be the true turnaround she so desperately wants.
“This is one of those tournaments that I remember watching on TV when I was young. I always wanted to come here. Now I think this is my eighth time here,” said Hedwall, who tied for 12th at her debut here in 2011. “I love coming here. It's such a beautiful city and the course. It's just a great venue. I love it being a major as well.”
ROLEX WOMEN’S WORLD GOLF RANKINGS PROJECTIONS
Two players have a mathematical chance to overtake Rolex Rankings World No. 1 Sung Hyun Park based on their finish at The Evian Championship. NOTE: There may be additional possibilities with tie scenarios and separate projection scenarios would need to be run to check.
- Rolex Rankings No. 2 Jin Young Ko (T6 through 36 holes)
- Win and have Sung Hyun Park finish solo third or worse
- Solo second and have Sung Hyun Park finish solo 44th or worse and Inbee Park does not win
- Rolex Rankings No. 7 Inbee Park (T2 through 36 holes)
- Must win and have Sung Hyun Park finish solo fifth or worse
With a win, Nelly Korda (T47) and Jessica Korda (T24) have an opportunity to pass Lexi Thompson in the Rolex Rankings to become the highest-ranked American.
Rolex Rankings No. 37 Mi Hyang Lee (65-67)
- Lee’s 36-hole 132 is her best 36-hole score at The Evian Championship; her previous best was 133 in 2015 where she went on to finish T4
- Lee’s first-round 65 is the lowest round in her seven Evian appearances; her previous best was a 66 in the second round in 2018 and the first round in 2015
- Her 65 is the lowest round of her 2019 LPGA Tour season; her previous best was a 66 in the fourth round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
- She hit nine of 13 fairways and 11 of 18 greens, with 25 putts
- Lee is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she has victories at the 2014 Mizuno Classic and the 2017 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open
- This is Lee’s 18th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is second at the ANA Inspiration
- She is competing in her seventh Evian Championship; she has three top-10 finishes, with a best finish of a tie for fourth in 2015
Rolex Rankings No. 18 Hyo Joo Kim (69-64)
- Her 36-hole 133 ties her best 36-score of the event; she previously shot a 133 in 2014 where she went on to win the event
- She hit 11 of 13 fairways and 14 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
- Kim is in her fifth season on the LPGA Tour; she is a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour. Her most previous win came at the 2016 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
- This is Kim’s 12th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has three top-5 finishes and five top-10 finishes with a best finish of T2 at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G
- She is competing in her seventh Evian Championship; she won the event as a non-member in 2014 and earned Category 3 LPGA status for the 2015 season while a member of the KLPGA
- Kim shot the lowest round ever in a major championship, 10-under 61, in the first round of the 2014 The Evian Championship
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Sung Hyun Park (67-66)
- Park’s second round 66 is the second-lowest round in her four Evian appearances; her best was a 63 in the first rounds in 2016 and 2017
- Her 36-hole 133 is her second-lowest 36-hole score at The Evian Championship; she previously shot a 131 in 2016 where she finished in a tie for second
- She hit 10 of 13 fairways and 13 of 18 greens, with 27 putts
- Park is in her third season on the LPGA Tour; she has seven career victories, including two major victories at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
- This is Park’s 13th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she won the 2019 HSBC Women’s World Championship and 2019 Walmart NW Arkansas presented by P&G and has three other top-10 finishes
- She is competing in her fourth Evian Championship; she missed the cut in 2018, she tied for 26th in 2017 and tied for second in 2016
Rolex Rankings No. 7 Inbee Park (65-68)
- Park’s 36-hole 133 is her best 36-hole score of The Evian Championship; she previously shot a 137 in 2018 where she went on to finish T8
- Park’s first-round 65 is the second-lowest round in her 10 Evian appearances; she shot a 64 in the second round en route to victory in 2012
- She hit 11 of 13 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 31 putts
- Park is in her 13th season on the LPGA Tour; she has 19 wins, including the 2012 Evian Masters, and seven major wins, most recently at the 2015 AIG Women’s British Open
- This is Park’s 12th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for second at the Kia Classic
- She is competing in her 10th Evian Championship; she won the 2012 Evian Masters and has three other top-10 finishes, including a tie for eighth in 2018
- Jasmine Suwannapura withdrew prior to the second round due to illness
- 72 players made the cut at +2 or better
- 23 players in the top 10 represent eight different countries (Republic of Korea, China, Sweden, USA, Thailand, Switzerland, England, Spain)
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS*
18 holes: 61, Hyo Joo Kim, first round, 2014
36 holes: 129, In Gee Chun, 2016
54 holes: 194, In Gee Chun, 2016
72 holes: 263, In Gee Chun, 2016
*Since becoming an LPGA major championship in 2013
Where To Watch
|Round 3 / July 27||3:00 AM ET - 8:30 AM ET||Golf Channel|
|Round 3 / July 27||9:00 AM ET - 11:30 AM ET||CNBC|
|Round 4 / July 28||6:00 AM ET - 9:00 AM ET||Golf Channel|
|Round 4 / July 28||9:00 AM ET - 11:30 AM ET||CNBC|