Lauren Stephenson continues to back up one solid outing with another.
In each of her five top-15 finishes this year, including the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational team event, Stephenson has recorded consecutive rounds in the 60s. Such is the case at the Amundi Evian Championship, where Stephenson has started 66-69 to sit at -7 overall through 36 holes in the fourth major of the LPGA Tour season.
“I started off with a really good look at birdie on one, just burned the edge. Then a frustrating three-putt on two,” said Stephenson, who hit 15 greens in regulation on Friday. “The first four holes I was 2-over par and I had missed one fairway by a foot, so I kind of felt like I wasn’t doing anything bad. It was different starting on the front nine today because I think the back nine is a little easier, so yesterday I had more momentum going into the front. Overall, I played well and had a lot more looks at birdie that lipped out.”
Starting with Hinako Shibuno at the 2019 AIG Women’s Open, the last eight major champions have been first-time winners on the LPGA Tour. Stephenson is hoping to continue that trend by claiming her first title at Evian Resort Golf Club.
“It’s scorable because I think it’s relatively shorter (compared) to most majors, length-wise. We have a lot of wedges and I said to [my caddie] Josh [Williams], the short holes are actually harder because the greens are hard and you have to really place it off the tee,” Stephenson said. “Overall a demanding golf course. You have to know where to land the ball in the fairway and on the greens to leave yourself the best situation.
“Every course we play is different, like every major we play is different. Each major sets up to different players and different strengths. I feel like that’s why we see so many different winners, a lot of variety.
“Ball striking [is my strength]. I’ve hit it well off the tee and that’s the only way to score is if you’re in the fairway. You could probably hit it 200 [yards] but if you hit it straight all day, you’re right in it.”