EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France(AP)– Ai Miyazato of Japan shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to share the second-round lead at the Evian Masters and Michelle Wie was eight shots back after a 70.
Miyazato shares the lead at 9-under 135 with joint first-round leader Na Yeon Choi of South Korea (68) and Becky Brewerton of Wales, who bogeyed the 16th and 17th to shoot 68.
“Obviously there’s a touch of disappointment because I got to go 11-under. This is a really tough course to not have any bogeys,” Brewerton said. “It would have been quite an achievement not to. Disappointed I did it at the end, but I would have taken 68 at the start of the day.”
In-Kyung Kim of South Korea, the other first-round co-leader, was a shot back in fourth.
“This is my fifth time in Evian, but I haven’t been playing good the last four years, so I am happy with that,” Miyazato said. “I made my first birdie on 3 today, that was a pretty long putt, like 6 meters. After that, I (managed to) keep it going.”
Despite a double bogey on the fourth, Wie hit five birdies in her round to retain a chance of gaining points for a place on the U.S. Solheim Cup team for next month’s matchup against Europe.
After finishing Thursday’s opening round at 3 over, top-ranked Lorena Ochoa began her second round with bogeys on the first two holes. But the Mexican made a string of birdies to shoot a 69 to be at even par.
Brewerton is vying for a place on Europe’s team after her rookie appearance two years ago.
Song-Hee Kim of South Korea hit five consecutive birdies on the front nine in shooting a 66 to be two shots behind the leaders. Sophie Gustafson of Sweden and Yuko Mitsuka of Japan also shot 66s and are at 7 under, along with Karine Icher of France (69).
Defending champion Helen Alfredsson of Sweden (69), who is bidding for a fourth Evian title, was at 5 under.
Brewerton made birdies on Nos. 2, 3 and 5, while an eagle at the seventh and another birdie early on the back nine moved her to 11 under.
After winning the Spanish Open last week, the 26-year-old from Wales is finding her best career form.
Veteran Laura Davies, the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open champion and a two-time Evian Masters winner, is so impressed by Brewerton that she fears losing her own place on the Solheim Cup team.
“If she keeps going like this, she’s going to be an automatic (pick) in the points. She’ll knock me out and I won’t be playing,” Davies said.
Several players mentioned how much slower than usual the greens are this year.
“They are playing slower than they have in years past,” said Natalie Gulbis, the 2007 champion. “The course is tough and playing longer than it has.”