Celine Boutier posted a 2-under 69 in the second round of the Evian Championship in France to move to 7 under overall after a disastrous day for Lydia Ko. Boutier was level with 2015 champion Ko overnight after a day one, but Ko drifted way back into a six-way tie for 22nd after a dismal round of 76 at the Evian Resort Golf Club at Evian-les-Bains. Ko started disastrously with bogeys on the first and third holes and then a triple bogey six on the par-3 fifth.
She was five-over after the first nine, but got a birdie on the 10th before back-to-back bogeys at 13 and 14 and then a birdie at 15. Ko is even after the first two rounds, seven shots behind Boutier. Surprise overnight leader Paula Reto also dropped down the leaderboard after a 4-over 75.
The 29-year-old Boutier, who was two shots back from Reto overnight, is looking to become the first Frenchwoman to win the tournament, which became a major in 2013. “It’s really great to feel the support from the fans when you play some good shots and some good putts go in,” Boutier said. “This kind of support used to put me under pressure in the past, and I didn’t cope well with it, but this year I’m trying to stay very relaxed.” Her solid round kept her narrowly ahead of Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit, who carded 67, and Japan’s Yuka Saso (69), in a tie for second.
They are one shot ahead of Nasa Hataoka of Japan (67), Mexico’s Gaby Lopez (68) and American Alison Lee (71). Reto struggled badly on the back nine, with a double bogey on the 12th hole followed by three bogeys over the next four holes.The 33-year-old South African ended the day in a tie for eighth at 3 under overall along with defending champion Brooke Henderson of Canada, who finished on 70.