Lincicome claims Evian lead

Practising barefoot helped Brittany Lincicome to shoot a six-under-par 65 and take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Evian Championship.

The 28-year-old from Seminole in Florida told reporters how taking her shoes off to hit some drives on the range helped to slow down her swing and improve her drives.

“It just slows it down, my tempo. Obviously I can’t swing as hard as I would like to with no shoes on because I will fall,” said Lincicome, who won her sole Major at the 2009 Kraft Nabisco Championship and lost to Inbee Park in a play-off at last month’s Wegman’s LPGA Championship where she was also leading after 36 holes.

“Today I just thought I would just take them off and hit some balls and see what happens. Actually did it yesterday. After my round I went to the range and hit balls for 15, 20 minutes.”

Six shots off the lead after an opening round of four-under-par 67, Lincicome fired six birdies at the Evian Resort Golf Club on a warm and sunny afternoon to end the day 10-under-par, a stroke ahead of first round leader Hyo-Joo Kim, who added a one-over 72 to her opening 61.

“I think just the confidence. Even when I felt like I didn’t hit a good shot today I kind of got away with it. Golf isn’t always a game perfect and hitting great shots,” Lincicome said.

“It’s more about misses. My misses today were right online and gave me birdie opportunities or got me in the fairway to give me an opportunity to make a birdie.”

Kim, 19, started with three bogeys on the back nine but made three birdies and one bogey on the front. Through translation, she said that she wanted to ‘erase’ the first day’s score to start afresh and admitted to feeling the pressure.

Fellow South Korean Mi Jung Hur was third on seven-under-par after a 69, followed by the defending champion Suzann Pettersen (69) and Karrie Webb (71) a shot further behind in a share of fourth.

The world’s first and third ranked players, Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko respectively, shared sixth place with Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn on five-under-par, with Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and South Korean IK Kim among the players on four-under.

Of the other notable Ladies European Tour competitors, the Italian Open champion Florentyna Parker was lying in a share of 32nd on one-over-par alongside Caroline Hedwall, Beatriz Recari and Jodi Ewart Shadoff, among others.

Charley Hull, the Lalla Meryem Cup champion, was in a group on two-over with last week’s Helsingborg Open winner Dewi-Claire Schreefel. Sandra Gal was on three-over-par, with Dame Laura Davies and Lee-Anne Pace on four-over.

Earlier in the second round, So Yeon Ryu was disqualified as she had damaged her putter on the 4th hole by slamming it against her shoe and bending the shaft of the club, thus changing its’ playing characteristics.

The 2011 US Women’s Open champion, who won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open last month, subsequently used the club to tap in her ball, which was a violation of rule 4-3b: using a club that was damaged other than in the normal course of play.

Ryu, who started on the 10th, was six over par after 17 holes in her second round and five over par for the day.