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Golf - 13. September 2013.

Mika Miyazato leads as Evian Championship reduced to 54 holes

Rain forced the first round of the inaugural Evian Championship to be delayed by a day but the sun was shining brightly on the redesigned Evian Resort Golf Club on Friday as Japan’s Mika Miyazato grabbed a one stroke lead.

Miyazato is in the hunt for her first major championship following a 6-under-par 65. She leads by one shot over Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, Germany’s Sandra Gal and South Korean Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak, all on 5-under-par 66.

Pettersen was six-under-par through 17 holes and in the perfect position to take advantage but three putted on the par-4 18th to drop into a tie for second.

At the end of the first round, tournament officials released the following statement: ‘Based on the current weather forecast models for the next 72 hours, tournament officials will target the completion of 54 holes with a 36-hole cut to top-70 and ties at the 2013 Evian Championship.’

There was one other time when a major championship was reduced to 54 holes: at the 1996 LPGA Championship at DuPont Country Club in Delaware, won by Britain’s Laura Davies.

A full day of golf is expected for Saturday, with rain forecast late in the day and likely to continue into Sunday morning.

Miyazato took advantage of the near perfect weather on Friday, with several LET members making an impact. They included Christina Kim (-4), Lindsey Wright (-3), Beatriz Recari (-2), Lee-Anne Pace (-2), Azahara Munoz (-1) and Caroline Masson (-1).

Meanwhile, LET members Marianne Skarpnord, Helen Alfredsson, Sophie Gustafson and Holly Clyburn all had solid opening rounds of level par.
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