Alfredsson sets Evian record, Park leads

Paula Creamer moved up the leaderboard with a bogey-free 69.
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EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) — Helen Alfredsson shot a course-record 9-under 63 Friday to pull within a shot of leader Angela Park after the second round of the Evian Masters.

Park shot a 68 in her second straight bogey-free round, giving her a 10-under total of 134.

The 43-year-old Alfredsson made four birdies on the front nine and five on the back at the Evian Royal Resort to beat the old course mark of 64 held by six players.

"This is my favorite stop on the Tour, period," the 1994 and '98 Evian winner said. "To have a course record is very special. I know the course so well and obviously love it here."

Five players are another shot back at 8 under - 2003 champion Juli Inkster, Cristie Kerr of the United States, South Korean duo Kim In-kyung and Meena Lee, and Candie Kung of Taiwan.

Overnight leader Lorena Ochoa is at 6 under after shooting a 1-over 73 following her 65 on Thursday.

Alfredsson, tied for 41st place overnight following a 72 on Thursday, moved to 8 under at the par-5 15th, but then missed birdie putts on the next two holes.

At the par-5 18th, her chip from a bunker landed seven feet from the flag to set up the last birdie. After making the putt, she pumped her fist and shared hugs with playing partners Sherri Steinhauer of the U.S. and Mhairi McKay of Scotland.

"I had a wonderful group," Alfredsson said. "We laughed a lot and talked a lot. You just play, you make a putt and move on."

The course record continues Alfredsson's revival after a 2007 season ruined by a back injury.

She was second in the U.S. Women's Open last month, finishing four strokes behind Inbee Park at Interlachen, Minnesota, and has climbed from 116th to No. 42 in the world rankings.

"I am healthy," she said. "I don't think I've been healthy for 15 years according to the doctors. Having gone through all the adversity you enjoy things in a different way at the end of your career."

Alfredsson will pair up with the 19-year-old Park in Saturday's third round.

"It's a great honor to have a chance to play with Helen," said Park, a Brazil-born Korean who became a United States citizen last month. "I know she played really well at the Open. I know we're going to have a lot of fun. She's a great person."

Park edged into the lead on 18 with a recovery shot to within a foot of the flag from the same bunker that Alfredsson found earlier. Park said she had to overcome early nerves playing alongside the top-ranked Ochoa, who three-putted the first green and made four bogeys in her round.

"It was a disaster," Ochoa said. "I missed second shots, I missed drivers and I missed putts."

The 26-year-old Mexican dismissed suggestions she might have felt the effects of playing football on a hot Thursday evening alongside former France star Zinedine Zidane in a charity match that is an annual feature at Evian.

"I only played for 15 minutes," Ochoa said. "I just went out there and tried to enjoy it, playing with the good players. It was a good time but I'm OK physically."

Paula Creamer moved closer to contention at 5 under after a 69 that featured three birdies and no bogeys. The 2005 champion from California is now eyeing Alfredsson's new record.

"I love this golf course, I play really well here, I have a lot of confidence," Creamer said. "You get your irons going strong, make some putts like Helen did, then you get that momentum.

"I'm happy for Helen because she's been playing really well these last several months."

Annika Sorenstam birdied the final two holes for a 69 to sit at 4 under, tied for 16th place with a group that includes defending champion Natalie Gulbis of the U.S.

The 37-year-old Sorenstam, who won here in 2000 and 2002, is making her final playing visit to Europe before retiring at the end of the season.

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