Jessica Korda shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 on Friday to take the second-round lead at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and heads into the weekend at 13-under par. It was Korda’s second-consecutive bogey-free round in Mobile and was firing on all cylinders to take a one-shot lead over LPGA and World Golf Halls of Famer Karrie Webb. Webb had quite the day herself, finishing with a 9-under 63 which included three-consecutive birdies to close out her round.
But the round of the week so far went to second-year LPGA Tour member Sydnee Michaels who beat the tournament record by two strokes with a 10-under 62. It was Michaels’ career-best round by three shots and was a 10-stroke improvement from her first-round 72. The UCLA product jumped from T63 to a tie for fourth at 10-under par alongside Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum and Thidapa Suwannapura.
Chella Choi of South Korea held the lead for most of the morning and afternoon wave and followed up a first-round 67 with a 6-under 66 to finish at 11-under. She sits two shots off the lead in solo third.
Korda, who carded four birdies on the front nine and four on the back, said that it’s hard to go into a round on the Crossings Course with a certain number in mind to go low. Players have been putting up showy numbers and know a very low total will be needed to come out on top on Sunday.
“Yeah, I saw Sydnee, I saw she was like 8‑under through 12,” said Korda. “Like dang, that's getting it done today. But no, not really, I kind of just went out here with really no mindset. Just come out here, try and hit good shots and convert when you can and kind of take your punishments when you have to.”
Playing her first 36 competitive holes since taking a two-week break to nurse a wrist injury, Korda said she feels like she’s in prime form heading into the weekend. She hit every fairway and only missed one green in regulation on Friday.
“I feel really comfortable out here,” said Korda. “This is definitely one of the stops I wanted to come back to and I hope we can keep this event as long as possible out here because I really like it…I feel good. Today actually I didn't have one shot where I was kind of kind of windstedded or anything so it was good, it's definitely moving in the right direction.”
Webb played alongside Korda the first two rounds and said she’ll need to continue her solid play to keep up with the 20-year old
“I think I'll need to do that for the weekend playing with Jess,” said Webb. “She played really solidly for two days.”
Webb has shown she can win at Magnolia Grove when she won the AFLAC Tournament of Champions in 2000. She beat Dottie Pepper in a one-hole playoff which earned her a second Rolex Player of the Year title and second Vare Trophy. The Aussie said her mistake-free play on Friday helped her get into a groove.
“I'm not sure the last time I had a bogey‑free round, so I'm really happy about that,” said Webb. “That's sort of been my problem is I have bogeys at the wrong time and it really kills momentum. That's what happened yesterday, I turned at 2‑under and then doubled 1 and bogeyed 2 and all of a sudden I'm at 1‑over. I just was really happy with that fight back yesterday to finish at 3‑under and I think that really carried over into today and it was nice to play today without any bogeys.”
Webb will carry even more momentum into tomorrow after she finished her second round with three-consecutive birdies to close out at 9-under par.
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis shot her second 2-under 70 of the week and is nine shots off the lead at 4-under par.
“I just made a bunch of birdies and just didn't ‑‑ made too many mistakes and you can't do it when people are shooting lights out,” said Lewis.
Topics: Airbus LPGA Classic