Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire both made the weekend at the Amundi Evian Championship to keep their Major hopes alive, but both have a lot of ground to make up in France.
A two-under 69 took Meadow up to two-under-par for the tournament and into a share of 42nd, while Maguire is a shot further back and in a tie for 54th following a level-par 71 on day two.
But the pair know they will have to be sensational at the weekend to even make it into the top-10 let alone challenge as Canada’s Brooke Henderson left the rest of the field in her wake with another stunning display.
The former PGA champion had eight birdies and one bogey in her second round for a second consecutive seven-under 64 to set the pace at 14-under-par, three strokes clear of second-placed Nelly Korda.
“It feels really nice to get off to a fast start in a Major championship. Feels like it’s been a while. To get it this far under par is really awesome,” said Henderson.
“I feel like I’m hitting the ball really well, which is nice. Making some putts. So two solid days, and I’m just really looking forward to the weekend.
“It would be amazing to get my second Major championship, and hopefully I get a few more before my career is over. I feel like this is a great position after two days, and it’s only half over, so see what happens.”
Korda could only manage a four-under 67 on day two – consisting an eagle, three birdies and a bogey, all on her back nine – to place herself as the only other player in double digits under-par at 11-under, with Korean duo Sei Young Kim and So Yeon Ryu tied for third at nine-under.
Meadow had a promising round that did threaten a bit more than just a 69 as she finished her front nine, having started at the 10th, with back-to-back birdies after cancelling out a birdie at the 13th with a bogey at the following hole.
But only a closing birdie at the ninth was enough to negate a bogey at the par-three fifth and move her up at least into the top-50.
Meanwhile, Maguire will be falling back on the positive vibes of last year’s weekend performance in Evian-les-Bains when she became the first player male or female to card a 61 in a Major championship, and two rounds of a similar score would not go amiss this time either.
The Slieve Russell ace had looked in danger of missing the cut as bogeys at the sixth and 12th dropped her down to one-over, but a strong finish has her in for the final two rounds and under-par again thanks to birdies at the 14th and 17th.