Korean queens

Forty two players under par and almost half of them within six shots of each other at the top of the leaderboard: let's hope that things will be a little clearer tomorrow after the third round, with a storm brewing in the air and on the fairways.

However, one thing is fairly sure, a competitive spirit will be required to steal the final victory away from one of the four Koreans, who at the half-way point, hold the top four places on the leaderboard.

The sole leader on 10-under par after a perfect finish (two birdies and an eagle) and a scorecard of 67 to add to Thursday's 65 is the runner-up at the ANA Inspiration, Mi Hyang Lee. She is just one shot ahead of a trio comprising the two great Parks, Inbee (already a winner in Evian in 2012, which is why she absolutely wants to win the tournament again as a major championship to complete the grand slam) and Sung Hyun, the world number 1, who has played impeccably since Thursday morning (just one bogey in 36 holes and 3 putts on 18 this Friday when she was in reach of eagle), the clear favorite of course, and Hyo Joo Kim, who posted the best score of the day, a textbook 64, (five birdies and an eagle on the 18th hole).

Following in the footsteps of the Korean queens, China's Shanshan Feng on seven under par, and on six under par a pack of six players that include the world number 2 Jin Young Ko, who settled for par on Friday after her opening round of 65, and Amy Olson, decidedly comfortable on the Evian course after letting the title slip through her fingers on the 72nd hole last year, and as she confided to us, determined to make things go her way one day on the shores of Lake Geneva.

The young Swiss amateur Albane Valenzuela knows the shores of Lake Geneva like the back of her hand, she has been playing on these fairways since she was a child. Since her first participation in The Evian Championship in 2015 (having taken part in all of the youth events organized by Evian: in particular the Haribo Kids Cup and Evian Junior Championship), this young hopeful who is studying at Stanford in California, before probably turning pro next year, had never made the cut. But she's done it and in style: first round 72 and 66 today! Valenzuela is ranked 13 this evening.

The two French professionals competing this week will also be present on the weekend. Céline Herbin, 1 under par, is in 31st place. Céline Boutier is two shots off her compatriot and in 47th position.

Finally, it is worth noting that three of the recent Evian Championship champions will be on their way home this evening: the defending champion, the American Angela Stanford, Sweden's Anna Nordqvist and the New Zealander Lydia Ko. Other headline names did not make the cut: the current world number 3, the American Lexi Thompson, and the Mexican Maria Fassi, often presented as the future star of global golf.

As far as the immediate future of world golf is concerned, we can fairly safely bet on a 5th Korean victory in Evian on Sunday...


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