South African pair Lee-Anne Pace and Paula Reto stepped it up in the second round in the season’s final Major to join the weekend action in France, while South Korea’s In Gee Chun cemented the solo lead at the 36-hole mark at The Evian Championship.
Pace fired a three-under-par 68 the Major Course of the Evian Resort Golf Club to vault from a tie for 31st to crack the top 20. The LPGA Tour winner dropped a shot at the par four third, but rallied with a brace of birdies at eight and nine and another pair of gains at 13 and 14 to grab a share of 17th at three-under-par 139.
Reto, who opened with a 74, notched a trio of birdies to offset bogeys at the first and 14th for a one under 71 to extend her stay in Evian-Les-Bains. The Olympian tied for 57th at two under 144.
Chun, who is trying to add another major title to her 2015 U.S. Women’s Open win, reeled in six birdies against a lone bogey in her round of 66 and sits atop the leaderboard at 13-under par.
The 22-year old leads Olympic bronze medalist Shanshan Feng of China and compatriot Sung Hyun Park by two shots. Korea’s So Yeon Ryu sits in solo fourth at 10-under par while American Angela Stanford trails by four shots in fifth.
Chun’s round of 66 on Friday tied two-time major champion Brittany Lincicome and Ryu for the low round of the day.
“I like pressure,” said Chun. “I always play really good under pressure, so I just try to enjoy everything.”
Defending champion Lydia Ko worked her way up the leaderboard on Friday with a round of three under 68 and is currently nine shots back in a tie for 13th at four under.
The cutline fell at three-over-par 145 with a total of 72 players making the cut. Notables that missed the cut include Americans Morgan Pressel (+4), Juli Inkster (+4), England’s Laura Davies (+4) and Australian Karrie Webb (+8).