BRADENTON, Fla. — Nelly Korda birdied three of her last 4 holes on Friday to shoot a 4-under 67 and take a two-shot lead halfway via the LPGA Drive On Championship.
In search of her first LPGA Tour victory since 2022, the previous world No. 1 was at 10-under 132 via 36 holes at Bradenton Nation Membership, a Donald Ross-designed course in her hometown that she hasn’t performed all that always.
Korda acquired an enormous roar when she closed her spherical by hitting a 6-iron to about 6 toes for birdie on the par-3 ninth gap.
“It is truthfully such a cool feeling,” Korda mentioned. “At the moment after we teed off, we had a very massive crowd happening 1 too. I’ve positively felt loads of help. Hopefully I can deliver out extra household and pals this weekend too to develop into louder.”
So Mi Lee had the second-best spherical of the day, a 65. She was two pictures again. Lydia Ko, who gained final week’s season opener and shared the first-round lead with Korda, was three pictures behind after a 70, alongside Xiyu Lin (66) and Ayaka Furue (67).
“I did really feel like I did not have my A-game, however nonetheless to shoot beneath par on a day the place you do not really feel prefer it’s as strong is an effective place to be,” Ko mentioned.
Korda began on the again 9 and bogeyed the par-4 fifth gap to fall to 1 beneath for the day. She adopted with birdies on the par-5 sixth and eighth.
“I simply knew that I might most likely reap the benefits of the 2 par-5s. I knew I had two par-5s arising, and if I had good drives, they’re each reachable,” Korda mentioned. “Everybody goes to make errors. It is all nearly minimizing it.”
Lexi Thompson was 5 pictures again after a 67. Maja Stark had the low spherical of the day, a 64 that was a 12-shot enchancment over her opening-round rating, to make the minimize with two pictures to spare at 2 beneath.