Golf: Chun In Gee edges ahead in final major

Chun (above) posted a super 66 to edge ahead of the field.
Chun (above) posted a super 66 to edge ahead of the field.PHOTO: AFP

EVIAN, France (AFP) - Rookie Chun In Gee posted a super 66 to edge ahead of the field at the halfway stage of the Evian Championship on Friday (Sept 16), the final major of the season.

The 22-year-old South Korean had shared the first-round lead on 63 with compatriot Park Sung-Hyun, but she moved two clear of the pack with a six-birdie round. A bogey at the fourth was her only error in 36 holes covered in 13 under par.

Park (68) and China's Feng Shanshan, the Olympic bronze medallist, shared second place on 11 under with another Korean, Soyeon Ryu, on 10 under after two 66s.

In won the US Women's Open before she joined the LPGA Tour last year and this season she is already well clear in her quest for Rookie of the Year honours.

She also wants a second major.

"I'm trying not to think about winning," she said. "That puts me under too much pressure. I just want to keep playing the same way over the next two rounds."

Park is the leading star of the Korean LPGA Tour with five wins this season and she has already shown form in the majors, finishing third at this year's US Women's Open.

Feng, the 2012 LPGA Champion, had a 67 and said that the Olympics in Rio had boosted her confidence, as she chases a second major and a 17th professional title.

"The course played a little longer today and we had some pretty long holes," said 27-year-old Feng.

"I actually started to feel a little bit tired on the back nine. I think it was because of the walk and the ground is soft after the rain.

"I made a couple of bogeys in the start of the back nine, but then I talked to my caddie, I was like, let's finish strong, and then I made two birdies in the last three, so I'm happy about the score.

"After the Olympics I went home to China and had a three-week break. I only started practising last week. But my putting has been pretty good for the first two days."

World No. 1 Lydia Ko, the defending champion from New Zealand, had a second-round 68 and, at nine behind on four under par is certainly not out of it.

But Brittany Lang, the US Women's Open champion, won't be collecting a second major this year. She had a 71 and missed the cut by two shots on five over par.