Jessica Korda had seven birdies in her seven-under-par 65 on Friday to seize a one-shot second-round lead over surging Hall of Famer Karrie Webb in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
Korda built a 36-hole total of 13-under 131, while Australia’s Webb climbed up the leaderboard with a bogey-free nine-under 63 for 132.
Chella Choi of South Korea led much of the day, but her six-under 66 finally left her in third place on 133.
Webb did all she could, grabbing four of her nine birdies in her last five holes as she closed her round with three straight birdies.
Korda’s lone career victory to date was a playoff triumph in last year’s Women’s Australian Open.
Back after a fortnight away from competition because of a wrist injury, the 20-year-old hit every fairway in regulation and all but one green.
“I feel really comfortable out here,” she said. “I feel good.”
Korda had four birdies on the front nine and three on the back. She had time to notice the charging round of second-year LPGA tour member Sydnee Michaels, whose 10-under 62 lowered the tournament record by two strokes and gave her a share of fourth place on 134, alongside two Thai golfers, Pornanong Phatlum and Thidapa Suwannapura, who both shot 65.
“Yeah, I saw Sydnee, I saw she was like eight-under through 12,” Korda said. “Like, dang, that’s getting it done today.”
First-round co-leader Lexi Thompson shot two-under 70 and was in a tie for seventh, four shots off the lead. South Korea’s Ji Eun-hee, who shared the overnight lead, carded a 72 that left her six adrift.
Taiwan’s Amy Hung hit a two-over-par 73 and did not make the cut for the third round.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER