(Evian-les-Bains, France July 22 2004) While temperatures almost touched 100 degrees Fahrenheit at the foothills of the French Alps, England’s Karen Stupples kept a cool head as she posted a second round six under par 66 to take the lead at the $2.5million Evian Masters here above the banks of Lake Geneva on the French-Swiss border.

Annika – denied Stupples in Australia

However, Stupples, who had none-too-shoddy rounds of 70 and 68 herself during a thrilling weekend of golf at the Royal Pines GC, admitted to learning a lot from the world finest and not too much later, the 31-year-old from Deal in Kent went on to win her first event on the LPGA Tour in March at the Welch/Fry’s Championship in Arizona.

Over the next two rounds, Stupples has the chance to redress the balance with Sörenstam and also do the double over Davies, whom she beat in the final round in Arizona.

“Annika doesn’t play against you,” said Stupples when asked if she learned anything from the world’s best after her Australian experience.

“She plays against the course and if she can win by 20 shots, she’ll win by 20. She always wants more. That’s an important lesson to learn to win. You just don’t know when someone will go on a birdie barrage.

“I’d love to win again, why not. That would be fantastic. Fortunately, I’ve won before and my main goal is that if I can play how Karen Stupples can play, I think I’ll be fine and will have a chance.”

Sörenstam offered a wry smile when she was reminded of her brace of 65s in Australia to deny Stupples her maiden win.

“I played really good in Australia and I feel I’m playing really good right now,” said the Swede, who had five birdies and two bogies in her round, adding that she felt she hit the lip of the hole on nearly every putt.

“I’d love more of the same and I’m sure Karen would love that, too!”

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