Jessica Korda fired a birdie-free back nine for a seven-under 66 to grab a one-shot lead after the second round of the LPGA’s Pure Silk Bahamas Classic on Friday.
The 20-year-old American, who is aiming for her second career LPGA Tour victory, reached a total of 11-under 135 at the Atlantis Resort’s windy Ocean Club Golf Course.
“It was a tough day out there,” Korda said. “A little mentally draining because you really had to put everything into every shot.”
Korda was paired with Paula Creamer, who shot a tournament record eight-under 65 to take second place at 10-under in the season-opening event.
Creamer began her round with a double bogey, but then settled in from there. The nine-time LPGA Tour winner finished with 10 birdies.
Korda began her round one shot back of overnight co-leader Lydia Ko and almost immediately made up ground with two birdies on her first four holes. She went birdie, bogey, birdie from the seventh to turn in 33, then matched that number during her bogey-free back nine. She rolled in other birdies at Nos. 12, 13, 16 and 18 to seize the lead.
New Zealand’s Ko, who is playing her first LPGA Tour event as a member, shot 70 and dropped into a share of fifth with Choi Na-yeon (68), Christel Boeljon (67) and PK Kongkraphan (69) at eight-under.
Ko won twice on the LPGA Tour as an amateur before turning pro in October last year.
US Michelle Wie also shot 65 and is in a tie for third with Monday qualifier Jenny Suh (66) at nine-under. Wie went bogey-free with eight birdies.
Lizette Salas (67) was alone in ninth at seven-under, while world No. 3 Stacy Lewis (71) shared 10th with three others competitors at six-under.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung shot a second-round 72 to tie for 14th place at five-under.
Additional reporting by staff writer