Two weeks ago, Jessica Korda made the decision to change her swing coach. It might seem like a quick switch considering the start of the 2014 LPGA season was right around the corner, but it appears to be working for the 20-year-old golfer. Korda fired a 7-under 66 on Friday to take the second-round lead at 11-under-par at the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
Korda leads by one shot over Rolex Rankings No. 13 Paula Creamer, her playing partner for the first two days in the Bahamas. Creamer and Korda traded birdies throughout a very windy day at the Ocean Club Golf Course, as Creamer fired a tournament-record 8-under 65.
“The winds picked up within 30 minutes [of us teeing off],” Korda said. “We went from beautiful, sunny, slight wind to cloudy and hurricane wind. It was a tough day out there. I mean, a little mentally draining because you really had to put everything into every shot. Paula kept pushing me because she kept making birdies, so I felt like I needed to keep making birdies, too.”
Creamer began the day with a double bogey on the first but bounced back quickly, making birdie on each of her next four holes. She posted a total of 10 birdies on the day but needed to in order to keep up with Korda, who tallied eight of her own during the second round.
And while the weather was a story of the day, it really didn’t seem to impact this group. Creamer, who hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour since her victory at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, said she wasn’t bothered by the wind gusts which reached close to 20 mph for most of the day.
“I love playing in windy conditions, I always have,” Creamer said. “The more difficult, the better I feel. We just really stuck to our game plan. You have to be kind of a feel player out in these kind of situations and trust what you're doing and committing to your shots, and that's something that I really worked hard on in the off‑season doing, and it just kind of paid off today.”
Korda and Creamer are currently the headliners but there are a number of notable names up near the top of the leaderboard, including Michelle Wie who fired an 8-under 65 to move into a tie for third at 9-under-par. Despite a five-week hiatus from playing golf this offseason– even leaving her golf clubs back at her house in Florida during a trip home to Hawaii – Wie didn’t seem to have lost a beat with her golf swing. And it appears that Wie’s revamped putting style is likely here to stay as she needed just 28 putts during her bogey-free round.
“I think I just had a good rest this off‑season,” Wie said. “When I came back in January and I picked up my golf clubs, I was really excited to play. I was so ready to get back into a rhythm.
Monday qualifier Jenny Suh is tied with Wie at 9-under-par after shooting a 7-under 66 in Friday’s second round and 2014 LPGA Tour rookie Lydia Ko continued her strong play as a professional by following up Thursday’s 67 with a round of 70 on Friday to sit in a tie for fifth at 8-under-par.
But all will have to catch Korda, who is riding a wave of momentum after making some recent tweaks to her swing with new swing coach, Grant Price. Korda had struggled with her swing last year and felt that it had led to some injuries she was battling in her left shoulder and wrist. So the hope was that by making some changes, it could result in her staying healthier.
“It was just time for a change,” Korda said. “There was just stuff that wasn't working. I've worked with Grant before, so I was really comfortable going into it, and he's just super positive, and that's something that I really needed coming into this year.
“We're just working on keeping everything in plane and keeping it really simple to where if something does go wrong on the golf course, I can fix it myself.”
Topics: Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic