Korda keeps LA Open lead after up-and-down day

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LOS ANGELES — Jessica Korda rode out a sequence of huge momentum shifts Friday at historic Wilshire Nation Membership to carry onto the lead within the HUGEL Air Premia LA Open.

Six strokes forward after three holes, tied with top-ranked Jin Younger Ko on the flip and two photographs again with three to play, Korda birdied the ultimate two holes to take a one-stroke lead into the ultimate spherical.

“I am simply making an attempt to be affected person,” Korda stated. “It is powerful. It is powerful to win out right here. Nonetheless have 18 holes left and I simply need to give myself a possibility to win.”

Korda shot a 3-under 68 to interrupt the event 54-hole file at 16 underneath. She matched the occasion course file with a 64 on Wednesday and shot a bogey-free 65 on Thursday to interrupt the 36-hole scoring file at 13 underneath.

“Actually, it is simply hitting it in the best spots,” Korda stated. “Pins had been undoubtedly more durable in the present day than they’ve been the final two days, extra tucked, so it was onerous to be aggressive on a number of them.”

Ko shot a 66, making a 30-foot bogey putt on the par-3 18th after driving over the inexperienced and watching her second bang into the financial institution and roll again to her toes.

“I knew that she was going to come back out and play nice,” Korda stated. “That is what she does being world No. 1. You would not count on something much less. I used to be simply making an attempt to play my very own recreation, and that is precisely what I’ll attempt to do tomorrow.”

Korda matched Ko with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 fifteenth, then hit to three toes for a birdie on the par-4 seventeenth and to 2 toes on 18. She received the season-opening Diamond Resorts Event of Champions in January for her sixth LPGA Tour title.

Korda birdied the primary three holes to open the six-stroke lead, hitting to a foot on Nos. 2 and three. She parred the subsequent 5 and bogeyed the par-4 ninth to fall right into a tie with Ko. Korda additionally bogeyed Nos. 11 and 13 earlier than rallying late.

“It was powerful,” Korda stated. “As soon as we hit that mark of no motion for about 20 minutes, it was simply actually, actually gradual and it was onerous for he to realize my momentum again. I used to be nonetheless hitting actually good photographs. I simply did not have any alternatives. I used to be type of all the time above the opening, and making an attempt to nestle one thing down near the opening is hard once you’re making an attempt to make birdies.”

Ko had six birdies and a bogey in a front-nine 30. She bogeyed Nos. 10 and 11 and birdied Nos. 13-15. The seven-time LPGA Tour winner is coming off a two-week break after ending seventh within the main ANA Inspiration.

Brooke Henderson received a spot alongside Korda and Ko within the ultimate group Saturday, capturing a 67 to get to 12 underneath. The Canadian birdied Nos. 15-17, then had a 7-foot birdie strive slide left on 18. She rebounded from a double bogey on No. 6.

“I feel when you’ve got dangerous holes like that it is actually essential to simply keep affected person and preserve doing what you are doing,” Henderson stated. “I did not actually do something mistaken. Simply type of one shot received away from us and ended up making an enormous quantity. So simply tried to remain within the second and proceed to hit good photographs.”

Angela Stanford was 11 underneath after a 68, and So Yeon Ryu and Hannah Inexperienced every shot 69 to get to 9 underneath. Morgan Pressel had a 66 to match Tiffany Chan (70) at 8 underneath.

Sei Younger Kim, enjoying alongside Ko and Korda within the ultimate group, had a 76 to fall right into a tie for 18th at 4 underneath. She closed along with her second double bogey of the day.

Korda broke the 54-hole mark of 11 underneath set by Minjee Lee in her 2019 victory. Lee holds the 72-hole mark of 14 underneath within the occasion that was first performed in 2018 and was canceled final 12 months.

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