Nelly Korda and Lydia Ko had been tied on the prime of the leaderboard after the primary spherical of the LPGA Drive On Championship on Thursday.
Korda and Ko shot six-under-par 65s at Bradenton Nation Membership, giving them a one-shot lead over Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen.
Korda, a Bradenton native, is in search of her first LPGA victory since November 2022, whereas New Zealand’s Ko might win her third consecutive outing.
Ko was victorious in final week’s season opener, the Hilton Grand Holidays Event of Champions, in addition to profitable December’s mixed-team exhibition together with Australia’s Jason Day, the Grant Thornton Invitational.
“Positively good to have the ability to win the primary occasion of the 12 months, particularly as a result of you do not have something actually to reference your spherical off or your recreation,” Ko stated.
“Grant Thornton was solely 5 weeks in the past, however that is a totally totally different format, and so wasn’t like I used to be coming in with a ton of actually good momentum.
“However simply attempting to feed off what was going effectively final week, and total I assumed I performed actually stable.”
Ko rolled in six birdies on a bogey-free day, whereas Korda’s spherical was extra adventurous.
Korda disregarded a gap bogey by birdies on the par-4 second and third holes. After one other birdie on the par-5 sixth, she went eagle-birdie-birdie from eight to 10 to rise to six below.
She described her eagle on the par-5 eighth as a “tap-in”.
“I hit my driver very well on this gap. Gosh, I feel I had 257 into the pin and hit my 3-wood actually good. It was serving to off the left. Performed it properly off the slope to a tap-in.”
She completed her spherical with a second bogey and her sixth and ultimate birdie.
“I really like each single time I get to play in Florida,” Korda stated. “I really feel like folks come out and help. But it surely’s higher to play actually in your hometown, so positively felt a number of the help and it was nice.”
Koerstz Madsen made six birdies and a single bogey for her five-under 66.
“It was a very good day. I performed regular golf,” she stated. “Missed a inexperienced right here and there however made an up and down. My method was simply staying – being somewhat affected person on the market as a result of it was a grind. I imply, it was a number of wind on the market, so maintain it on the excessive facet of the outlet.”
China’s Ruoning Yin, final 12 months’s Girls’s PGA Championship winner, opened with a four-under 67, tying for fourth with South Koreans Sei Younger Kim and Minji Kang and Thailand’s Chanettee Wannasaen.
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