Saiki edges clear of pack at evian masters


Miki Saiki, a three-time winner on the Japanese Tour, carded six birdies in a second round 67 here Friday to stand on nine under par and edge one clear of the pack at the halfway stage of the Evian Masters. Five players shared second place on eight under, including Japan’s former world No.1, Ai Miyazato, who won the title in 2009, and the Kraft Nabisco Champion, Stacy Lewis, while the 2005 winner Paula Creamer was another shot back on seven under after a 67.
Speaking through an interpreter, 26-year-old Saiki, from Hiroshima, put her scoring down to good form with her putter and a change in weather that saw sunshine and warmth replace torrential rain and cold conditions. Lewis had been totally disgruntled after a first round 69 that concluded with three bogeys in the final four holes. But the 26-year-old American was all smiles after a seven birdie second round of 67 that included a chip-in at the short 14th. “I could have gone out with the same attitude that I finished with yesterday (Thursday) – mad and upset – but I didn’t let myself do that and that made me very happy,” said 26-year-old Lewis, whose win in the Kraft Nabisco, the first major of this season, is her only professional victory. Miyazato shot a second successive 68, six birdies lighting up a very solid performance.
“Finally we got some good weather and that made me happy. I’m looking forward to the weekend. I have so many god memories from getting my first LPGA win here and I’ll be pushing for more birdies,” she said. Creamer was only 18 when she won the Evian in 2005 – she romped home by a runaway eight shots. “I won by so many back then that sometimes I get hard on myself,” said the 2010 US Women’s Open champion.