Nelly Korda grabs second-day lead at Tournament of Champions
World No. 1 Nelly Korda shot a 6-under-par 66 on Friday to vault herself past Mexico’s Gaby Lopez and into the lead at the LPGA’s Tournament of Champions at Orlando, Fla.
Korda overcame a bogey on the fifth hole at the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club to record seven birdies, hitting 10 of 14 fairways and tying for the lowest round of the day.
Korda is at 10-under 134 in the LPGA’s season-opening event after two days.
“I kind of feel more at home here,” Korda said. “I love the golf course, love the layout. I love that it’s a good challenge, the rough is pretty thick this year, too.
“So I kind of like to embrace those challenges.”
Lopez, who led at 5-under after the first round and was the 2020 event champion, shot a 4-under 68 to stay within a stroke of the lead at 9-under. She is tied for second place with Danielle Kang, who shot a 5-under 67.
Kang delivered an eagle on the par-4 seven hole and avoided bogeys all day. Using an iron from a rise that splits the seventh fairway, Kang hit her approach shot to the front of the green with her ball rolling directly into the cup.
“I didn’t realize I was bogey-free,” Kang said. “Honestly, I said in the last two days, probably you guys are probably going to hear me repeat the same thing: I’m not really focused on the result, not trying to. I’m just trying to do the job in front of me and hit the best I can with the shot that’s in front of me.
“Things that I’m working on, it’s just progressing, not just today, not just tomorrow, not just Sunday, but rest of the year, and working towards the goal that I’m trying to get as consistent as possible.”
Jessica Korda kept herself within striking distance Friday by firing a 5-under 67. Jessica Korda is alone in fourth place, two shots behind her sister. France’s Celine Boutier also had a 5-under 67 and is tied for fifth place with Canada’s Brooke M. Henderson at 7-under.
The top ten is rounded out by South Korea’s Inbee Park (67) and Japan’s Yuka Saso (70), tied for seventh at 6 under, and Finland’s Matilda Castren (66), New Zealand’s Lydia Ko (68) and Stacy Lewis (69), tied for ninth another shot back.
The event format pairs players with 50 celebrities and amateurs who are competing in a Modified Stableford scoring format.
The celebrity competition, which features such notables as former NBA star Vince Carter, former NFL standout Larry Fitzgerald and entertainer Larry the Cable Guy, has former MLB pitcher Derek Lowe leading the way with a two-day Modified Stableford score of 69. Annika Sorenstam and former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder are tied for second with a score of 68.
–Field Level Media