Nelly Korda realized there were low scores accessible Friday at Atlanta Athletic Club. For quite a while, she was unable to discover them in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
And afterward the birdies came in bushels, one after another, six straight to close her second round that put her in the record book with a 9-under 63 and offered her a 1-chance lead over Lizette Salas going into the end of the week.
“Golf is easy when you have days like this,” Korda said. “But it’s not always like this.”
It sure appears to be that method of late. Korda shot 62 in the third round keep going week en route to winning the Meijer LPGA Classic, making the 22-year-old American the first numerous victor on the LPGA Tour this year.
This round may have been far superior.
Over her final six holes on the front nine, Korda made birdie on both standard 3s guarded in front by water. She had bird putts on back to back openings – one of them on the standard 4 6th, with the tee climbed to make it play 229 yards – and barely missed them both.
On the hardest hole on the course, she needed to manage a tree root before her ball to get to the green and afterward made a 45-foot birdie putt. Korda finished off her round with a pitching wedge to 8 feet.
“I guess I just blacked out, a little like last week,” Korda said.
She was at 11-under 133, a shot in front of Salas, who hit each of the 18 greens in guideline, shot another 67 and still can’t seem to make an intruder through 36 openings.
Korda tied the title record, last set a year prior when Sei Young Kim shut with a 63 to succeed at Aronimink. She had the third round of 63 at Atlanta Athletic Club in a significant, joining Steve Stricker in 2011 and Mark O’Meara in 2001 at the PGA Championship.
Korda actually has work left before her on the off chance that she needs to win her first major.
Salas didn’t approach a mix-up with her consistent eating routine of fairways and greens. That was her arrangement coming in, and the 31-year-old American has executed it splendidly.
“I’m definitely satisfied,” Salas said. “We came in with some goals, and we’re reaching them. I think overall my attitude has been pretty solid. It’s a major. It’s supposed to be tough. It’s supposed to test you in several different ways, and I think I’m handling it quite well. And back-to-back 67s, I’m not going to complain.”
Celine Boutier of France drove the 6th green to 8 feet for a falcon en route to a 64 that left her 4 shots back at 7-under 137 with Cydney Clanton (67) and Alena Sharp (68).
As yet sneaking was seven-time significant hero Inbee Park, adjusting into structure as she goes for another gold in the Olympics, who holed a chip for falcon and shot 68. She was 6 shots behind.
Korda, with five LPGA Tour triumphs, has always lost one after the other and talked about how depleting it was before in the year after she succeeded at Lake Nona.
Having onlookers on the Highlands course has aided, and she gave them a lot to cheer with her 10 birdies, which followed her solitary intruder toward the beginning of her round at No. 10.
“I definitely saw some low ones,” Korda said of the morning scores. “On my front nine I was like, ‘Where is everyone making birdies?'”
She discovered them, including two reachable standard 5s and the drivable standard 4.
Korda’s dramatic finale started with a 7-iron to 20 feet. She followed that with a 7-wood onto the green at the standard 5 fifth – her caddie advised her not to go at the pin, yet she was unable to oppose – and afterward the 7-wood to the green at the reachable 6th and her absolute best of the day, a 5-iron to 5 feet on the standard 3 seventh.
The shock was the huge putt on No. 8, and the last birdie was the best method to finish off a round like that one.
Korda isn’t one to wait on the earlier week, regardless of whether it’s anything but a prize.
“When you win, it’s hard,” she said. “I’ve never won towards the end of my stretch, I’ve always won kind of like at the beginning. It doesn’t even kind of soak in that I’ve won. In a sense you kind of don’t even get to enjoy it because I won and then, ‘Hey, it’s a major championship, like get ready.’
“They’re two completely different golf courses and two different strategies. It’s just good golf that I’ve been playing, and hopefully I can continue on with that.”
Maria Fassi lost 2 strokes to a punishment for moderate play, transforming a birdie into an intruder on the eighteenth as she made the turn. The previous NCAA champion from Mexico had a 77 and she missed the cut by 1 shot.