Lewis seized the first-round lead Thursday at the Evian Masters with a 9-under-par 63, equaling the tournament record. Tseng, the Rolex world No. 1, is 13 shots back and tied for 91st. Tseng needs to rally Friday to avoid missing the cut for the second time in her last three starts.
Lewis, who made seven consecutive birdies Thursday, is No. 3 in the world and not shy about her ambitions to become No. 1 While Tseng still holds a commanding lead in the world rankings, Lewis leads the Rolex LPGA Player of the Year points race. No American has won the award since Beth Daniel in 1994. Lewis is threatening to extend her lead with her performance this week. She has 129 Rolex POY points with Tseng at 120. There are 30 points up for grabs for this week’s winner.
Confidence is growing for Lewis, who is seeking to match Tseng’s tour-leading three LPGA titles this year.
“I think probably this time last year I would get on the leaderboard and be unsure and start protecting the lead, or something like that,” Lewis told media after her round Thursday. “I'm comfortable there. I'm fine with seeing my name up there and playing in those final groups. I think that's what really kind of changed things for me this year.”