Golf: Morley out in front

Britain's Joanne Morley repeated her opening round 67 on the second day of the Evian Masters in France yesterday to take an outright lead.

With a 10-under-par halfway aggregate of 134, Morley leads by two strokes from Yorkshire's Alison Nicholas, who shares second place with Hiromi Kobayashi from Japan.

Morley, winner of the German Open last year, hit six birdies in her round and only once went over par when she took three from the edge of the green for a bogey five at the 13th hole.

Nicholas made a late burst to move alongside Kobayashi when she birdied each of the last three holes to come home in 34 for her 68.

But it was another disappointing day for Laura Davies, the holder, who resorted to putting left-handed on the 12th green, on her way to a frustrating second round of 70. It left Davies at level par on 144, but she trails 10 strokes behind Morley.

"The course is great, everything is great, but I can't make a damn putt. It's destroying me," Davies said. "I only holed two putts all day and those, thank goodness were for eagles."

AMERICAN EXPRESS TOUR EVIAN MASTERS (Royal Club, Evian, Fr) Leading second- round scores: (GB or Irl unless stated): 134 J Morley 67 67. 136 H Kobayashi (Jpn) 69 67; A Nicholas 68 68. 137 A Alcott (US) 67 70. 139 S Waug (Aus) 70 69. 140 V Skinner (US) 72 68. 141 C Blaylock (US) 74 67; L Hackney 71 70. 142 M-L de Lorenzi (Fr) 73 69; M Hjorth (Swe) 72 70; H Alfredsson (Swe) 72 70; C Hj Koch (Swe) 71 71. 143 C Sorenstam (Swe) 74 69; M Koch (Ger) 73 70; K Marshall 72 71; P Sterner (Swe) 71 72. 144 P Meunier Lebouc (Fr) 77 67; K Orum (Den) 75 69; L Davies 74 70; L Fairclough 74 70; E Knuth (Sp) 73 71; M Lunn (Aus) 71 73. 145 N Lowien (Aus) 73 72; J Forbes 72 73; C Dibnah (Aus) 72 73. 146 L Lambert (Aus) 76 70; A-M Knight (Aus) 75 71; C Rarick (US) 75 71; W Dicks 74 72; A Gottmo (Swe) 73 73; L Brooky (NZ) 71 75; T Johnson 70 76. 147 K Lunn (Aus) 76 71; F Dassu (It) 74 73; D Reid 74 73; L Merten (US) 72 75. 148 G Stewart 78 70; S Mendiburu (Fr) 78 70; J Mills (Aus) 77 71; M Hageman (Neth) 77 71; L Maritz (SA) 76 72; F Pike (Aus) 76 72; M Hedblom (Swe) 75 73; A Arruti (Sp) 75 73; A Sorenstam (Swe) 74 74; K Poppmeier (Aut) 72 76.

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