By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 14/09/18 7:19pm
Georgia Hall moved a step closer to the lead after firing a second straight 68 on day two of the Evian Championship in France.
Hall will head into the weekend with high hopes of winning back-to-back majors as she lies just two strokes off the pace at the halfway stage, with four players sharing the lead on eight under par.
The Women’s British Open champion made an uncertain start to her second round as she dropped her first shot of the tournament at the 12th – her third – although she bounced back with birdies at 14 and 17.
The 22-year-old continued to keep the mistakes at bay on the front nine but, similar to day one, she did miss chances to improve her score while getting putts to drop on the third and eighth greens.
Hall’s seven-foot putt for a closing birdie at the ninth was short of pace as she settled for a three-under card, but she was happy with her position after 36 holes.
“My long game was really good, I just couldn’t really hole that many putts so that was a little bit frustrating,” said Hall afterwards. “But I holed some good ones as well, so I’m still happy.
“I’ve worked quite a bit on my putting and chipping. I chipped well today and I didn’t really miss that many greens. But you need to put the ball on the right side of the pin, on the right part of the greens. That’s very important.”
Amy Olson blitzed the Evian-les-Bains course for seven birdies in a 64 which gave her the early clubhouse lead on eight under, a score later matched by Mi Hyang Lee (66), former British Open champion Mo Martin (66) and Puerto Rican Maria Torres, who hit back from a bogey-bogey start to salvage a 69.
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Carlota Ciganda is alone in fifth just one behind the leading quartet, with Hall and Brooke Henderson among seven players in a share of sixth.
Hall’s fellow English star Charley Hull looked in danger of missing the cut when she bogeyed her opening hole to slip to two over, but she fought back with three birdies over the next four holes and went on to fire a 67 which lifted her to three under.
Defending champion Anna Nordqvist was five off the lead before finding water at the last and closing out a 70 with a double-bogey six, but several star names failed to avoid an unscheduled weekend off.
Lexi Thompson was visibly upset when, needing to get up-and-down for par at the last to make the cut, she chunked her chip and eventually did well to hole from six feet for bogey, but it was her fourth dropped shot of the back nine and one too many to play another 36 holes.
Catriona Matthew also missed the cut on four over, while world No 1 Sung Hyun Park crashed out on six over after a 71 – the damage being done with her seven bogeys on the opening day.