Closing eagle puts top-ranked American Nelly Korda in command at Amundi Evian Championship

Historically speaking, Nelly Korda hasn’t done much of note at the Amundi Evian. She and her caddie high-fived last year after a career-best share of 19th.

How is she feeling midway through this year’s Evian?

“Honestly, super good,” said the top-ranked American. “A little pat on my back after two days, hopefully it keeps going that way.”

After starting her second round with 10 consecutive pars, Korda broke through with a 32 on the back nine to climb into the top spot at 11-under 131. Korda shot 64-67 in the first two rounds and holds the clubhouse lead over former Evian champion Hyo Joo Kim, who shot 66.

After having to play out of the water on the 18th on Thursday, Korda hit a gorgeous approach from 192 yards on the closing par 5 to within a couple feet on Friday, wrapping up Day 2 with a birdie-eagle flourish.

“I tried to kind of control a hybrid in because it wasn’t really sitting that great in the first cut. It was kind of sitting a little down,” said Korda, “and I didn’t really want to crush a 5-iron because I did not want to repeat what I did yesterday. Rather go long.”

Korda said she has struggled more than usual with jet lag this week and planned to take a nap after the round. She didn’t even see the back nine prior to Thursday’s round after the Wednesday pro-am was shortened to nine holes.

Linn Grant, the talented Swede who made history by becoming the first woman to win on the DP World Tour at the Scandinavian Mixed last month, sits at 4 under for the tournament. A double-bogey on the par-3 14th derailed her efforts a bit. She’s currently in a share of 15th.

The former Arizona State standout has won three times on the Ladies European Tour this season and is No. 102 in the Rolex Rankings.

“I think playing on the LET is really, like you’re saying, boosts my confidence a little bit,” said Grant. “I mean, I knew my own game before turning pro, but turning pro you never know what’s going to happen, right? So just playing there and get some wins, kind of know how to win, kind of get even better at that sort of. I think that’s preparing me for weeks like this, just to grind it out.”

Brooke Henderson opened with a 64 and is in the afternoon wave. Overnight leader Ayaka Furue followed her opening 63 with a 72 and trails Korda by four.