Park fires 63, uses fresh start to lead Evian major
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) — Sung Hyun Park took full advantage of a fresh start to the Evian Championship on Friday, firing an 8-under 63 to lead the rescheduled first round by three shots.
That meant a 14-shot turnaround for the No. 3-ranked Park, who had been 6 over through five holes in the rain and wind on Thursday morning. Play was abandoned and all scores wiped from the record, leaving the fifth and final women’s major as a 54-hole event.
The South Korean regrouped and had seven birdies and an eagle to lead by three from Australia’s Katherine Kirk (66).
“I forgot about yesterday and just focused on my play today,” Park said through a translator, acknowledging she was “surprised” that the U.S. LPGA scrapped Thursday’s play.
Tied for third four strokes back were Jessica Korda of the United States and Women’s British Open winner In-Kyung Kim.
Park, the U.S. Women’s Open champion, played in a stellar group with top-ranked So Yeon Ryu (75), her fellow South Korean, and No. 2 Lexi Thompson (70) of the U.S.
Ryu suffered a six-shot swing having been 2 under and sharing the lead with Korda on Thursday when play stopped.
Kirk, playing in the first group on course for a second straight day, said just before the suspension that Thursday had been “the worst conditions I have ever seen.”
Another player to seize their second chance in the cool sunshine was Ai Miyazato of Japan, who is playing her final event before retiring.
Miyazato, the 2009 and 2011 Evian winner before it had major status, was in a cluster of players at 3 under, trailing Park by five.
Lydia Ko, the former No. 1 from New Zealand and 2015 winner here, also shot a 3-under 68 on the scenic course looking across Lake Geneva to Switzerland.
English veteran Laura Davies, who won the last of her four majors 21 years ago, shot a 2-under 69 that included six birdies and four bogeys.