After being sidelined in March with a blood clot in her left arm, defending champion Nelly Korda hasn’t had many competitive reps this season. But, through two rounds at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, the Rolex Rankings No. 2 isn’t showing any signs of rust, firing a bogey-free, 7-under 65 at Blythefield Country Club on Friday. She sits in solo second, two shots back of leader Jennifer Kupcho, heading into Moving Day. In addition to 5 birdies, including two back-to-back on holes 17 and 18, the highlight of Korda’s day was a hole-out eagle on the par-5 14th – this week’s Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole.
“I hit it out into the rough with my drive, laid up, and I don't know how far I had in. I probably had I think 82 yards and it spun right back into the hole. Not many people saw it. It was that part of the golf course that no one really saw, but it was fun,” Korda said of the eagle. “You have to (go low) out here. The scores are always really low. You have to put together a bunch of birdies to just try to be in contention. Hopefully, I can put together a solid 36 holes over the weekend and see how it goes.”
This is Korda’s fifth appearance of the 2022 season and just her second start back since her health scare earlier this year. She returned to the LPGA Tour two weeks ago at the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica, finishing in a tie for eighth at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club to notch her second top 10 of the season. In addition to last year’s victory, Korda has two other top-10 finishes at the Meijer LPGA Classic – a T9 in 2018 and a T7 in 2019. With a milder weekend on tap at Blythefield, she’ll look to chase down another title in Michigan, which would be the eighth win of her career.
“I had a warmup at the U.S. Women's Open. That was a tough test of golf, especially on Sunday. You didn't really see many scores under par there. I think there were maybe two or three girls. So I've had a couple of rounds under my belt already, so I'm happy with that going into this week,” Korda said. “I guess I'm not surprised (to be playing well). I worked hard my entire life so I'm all about consistency. If I can put together a good round, then I'm happy with that.”