LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Jessica Korda fired six birdies in a six-under 65 on Thursday (April 22) to push her lead at the LPGA Los Angeles Open to three strokes.
The 28-year-old American dubbed it “another good day” at Wilshire Country Club, where she followed up a course record-equalling 64 with a largely stress-free, steady round.
“Well, it’s going to sound crazy but I actually lipped out a good amount out there today, so it actually could have been lower,” said Korda, who had a 36-hole total of 13-under par 129.
“Just had a little bit of a harder time with some speed today. Other than that, it’s just another good day,” added Korda after breaking the 36-hole scoring record for the tournament that previously stood at eight-under.
Korda, who opened 2021 with her sixth career LPGA title at the Tournament of Champions, teed off early and had a five-shot lead when she walked off 18.
World number one Ko Jin-young of South Korea narrowed the gap, however, firing a six-under 65 that put her at 10-under 132.
Ko’s seven birdies had moved her to 11-under for the tournament before she bogeyed the 17th to give a stroke back.
World number three Kim Sei-young was alone in third on 133. She had six birdies to reach 10-under but dropped out of a tie for second with a bogey at the 18th.
That left her one stroke in front of Canadian Brooke Henderson (65) and American Angela Stanford (66).
Korda said consistency had been the key for her this week, something she’d been aiming for after too many bogeys in her last couple of starts.
She has hit 33 of 36 greens in regulation over the first two rounds.
“Even when I did miss, it wasn’t by much,” she said. “The greens are quite small, so sometimes it is actually better to be a little bit off the green or in a certain spot on the green than to (just) be on the green.
“That kind of thing is what we are looking at, especially with some of the pin placements.”
Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan, who started the day one stroke back alongside Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn, carded a one-under 70 to share sixth on 135.
Moriya posted a one-over 72 that left her eight adrift.
Former world number one Lydia Ko, coming off her first win in three years at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii, improved on her disappointing first round 78 by 10 strokes with a three-under par 68 – but it was not enough to avoid missing the halfway cut that also claimed ANA Inspiration winner Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand.