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Jessica Korda shoots 65 to take 3-shot lead in LA Open

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jessica Korda shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday in the HUGEL Air Premia LA Open to break the tournament’s 36-hole scoring record and increase her lead to three strokes.

A day after matching the Wilshire Country Club tournament record with a 64, Korda opened her bogey-free morning round with birdies on three of her first four holes – holing a 15-footer to start on the par-4 10th. At 13-under 129, she broke the event mark of 8 under set by Moriya Jutanugarn in 2018 in the inaugural tournament.

“It’s going to sound crazy, but I lipped out a good amount out there today so that it could have been lower,” Korda said. “I don’t complain. I know I made a bogey yesterday, but I made up for it with birdies. Just had a little bit of a harder time with some speed today.” Top-ranked Jin Young Ko was second after a 65. Playing in the afternoon, she lost a late stroke with a bogey on the par-4 17th.

Fellow South Korean star Sei Young Kim was nine under. She closed her afternoon round with a bogey on the par-3 18th for a 66. Canadian Brooke Henderson (65) and 43-year-old Angela Stanford (66) were eight under. So Yeon Ryu (67) was another shot back with Hannah Green (67) and Tiffany Chan (70). Second-ranked Inbee Park (68) was six under. Jessica Korda has 13 straight under-par rounds. She hit 33 of 36 greens in the first two rounds. In January, Korda won the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions for her sixth LPGA Tour title, and sister Nelly Korda followed with a victory a month later in the Bainbridge LPGA in the second event of the year.

“You’re just plotting your way around the golf course and trying to be smart where we keep it,” Jessica Korda said. “I got above the hole on a couple of holes, and they’re not easy putts so that you can get out of position easily out here, so we’ve been pretty smart.”

Lotte Championship at 28-under 260, followed an opening 78 with a 68 to miss the cut. Tavatanakit, making her first start since winning the ANA Inspiration for her first major title and LPGA Tour victory, shot 75-71.

“I love being paired with Lydia,” Jessica Korda said. “I think I played a practice round with Patty last year. It was kind of just nice to get to know her. She’s super nice and has a very long career ahead of her. But I love my pairing. Whenever I get paired with Lydia, we have such a great time. It was very easygoing.”

Henderson birdied four of her last five holes.

“I just made a few more putts early, which was exciting, and a couple of long ones, which was nice,” Henderson said. “I felt like I’ve just got a lot of energy and a couple of great breaks out there, and to finish strong on the back nine, I think I was clutch to climb up the leaderboard a little bit.”

Stanford closed with a bogey on the par-4 ninth.

“I didn’t feel great this morning,” Stanford said. “Sometimes, I think that makes me focus a little bit more, so it was one shot at a time because I thought it could go south at any moment. Probably good that it kept me focused today.”

Nelly Korda was three under after a 73. Seven under after birdieing the first two holes, she dropped five strokes in a four-hole span on the back nine. She bogeyed the par-4 11th, made a triple bogey on the par-5 13th, and bogeyed the par-4 14th.

Michelle Wie West followed an opening 70 with a 77 to miss her third straight cut in her comeback.

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Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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