Friday, June 01, 2018

 Flying Finn Wikstrom leads by two in France
Evian-les-Bains, France – Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom fired opening rounds of 69 and 67 for a six-under-par total to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Jabra Ladies Open in France.
The 37-year-old from Espoo, who has recorded multiple-runner up finishes since joining the LET in 2004, is now in a prime position to capitalise and earn her first Ladies European Tour title at the Evian Resort Golf Club, along with one of the two spots available in The Evian Championship.
Reflecting on her second round, she said: “It was solid, but I only made birdies on the par fives. I didn’t make any mistakes either, so it was pretty easy. It was just tick, tick, tick and keep going. Just to play in a Major, with the best players, would be great.”
The timing couldn’t be better, as she will defend the EVLI Finnish Open, which her husband, Mika, is running on the LET Access Series next week.  
Wikstrom’s closest challengers, however, include multiple LET winners Felicity Johnson from England and Marianne Skarpnord from Norway and rising British star Annabel Dimmock.
Johnson, whose wins include the 2009 Tenerife Ladies Open and the 2011 Lacoste Ladies Open de France, hasn’t played in The Evian Championship on the remodelled golf course. However, she did play in the Evian Masters in 2010 and 2012.
“Last time I was here I met Hugh Grant, which was memorable! If you’ve watched him in the films, that’s how he seemed in real life and I’m a big fan, even if he is a Fulham fan. I don’t like them after last weekend,” said the fervent Aston Villa supporter.
“I played in the football match here last time, so it would be good to be a part of that in September. I went on the pitch and kicked the ball a couple of times. I’ve got the kit at home still. Zidane was there and David Ginola as well. I was a big fan of seeing him, as he used to play for Villa, so I had a little chat with him about his time at Villa and it’s always exciting to meet some footballers.”
Skarpnord, whose LET titles include the 2009 Swiss and Italian Opens and the 2013 South African Women’s Open, has played at Evian three times, but not since the inaugural Evian Championship in 2013.
She feels that some early morning practice is required ahead of the final round on Saturday and said: “There was a lot of good and bad. It was an up and down day, either really good or really bad. I hit a lot of good shots and had a few two or three metre putts for birdie that I made.”
A stroke further back are Germany’s Karolin Lampert, Christine Wolf from Austria and Frenchwoman Astrid Vayson de Pradenne on three-under-par, ahead of Finn Noora Tamminen, South African Nicole Garcia and Scotland’s Jane Turner who has had a pair of 70s for 140 and a T8 overnight position.
  Sweden’s Sofia Ljungvist, England’s Cloe Frankish and Spain’s Elia Folch are on one-under-par and all looking for a debut in The Evian Championship this September.
 Kelsey Macdonald made the cut with two shots to spare, returning scores of 75 and 70 for 145 and a T32 position.
Vikki Laing was the third and last Scot to beat the cut with scores of 72 and 75 for T48.
149 Michele Thomson 74 75
153 Laura Murray 74 79
156 Kylie Henry 76 80
159 Carly Booth 80 79.


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