Friday at a Major can be a cruel place but the performance of some of the players at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was simply outstanding.
Nelly Korda closed her round with 6 (yes six) consecutive birdies in a tournament record-equalling round of 63 to take the lead of the tournament by one shot on 11-under par from Lizette Salas who was bogey-free for the second day in a row.
France’s Celine Boutier was close to a masterclass too only for a bogey at the 8th hole which derailed her slightly and she’s tied third, on 7-under, alongside Cydney Clanton and Alena Sharp.
Ireland’s Leona Maguire is also really showing her mettle and four birdies on her card for the day at the Atlanta Athletic Club were only negated by a double-bogey ‘5’ on the par-3 15th but she’s in a 5-way tie for 27th place on two-under par and well on the way to another fabulous finish.
Stephanie Meadow was in good form on day two as well but her bogey-free round of 69 (-3) wasn’t quite enough to get her inside the cut mark and she was left to rue her opening 78 and missed the cut by one stroke.
As for Korda, well she’s off the back of a hard-fought win over Leona Maguire last week at the Meijer Classic and you’d not bet against her going all the way again this week.
“I just blacked out there,” Korda said when asked about her sprint to the finish line on Friday. “Actually, the one on 17 (8 on the card as she started on the back nine), was the highlight of my round,” she said about her birdie run.
“I pushed my drive out right, and I was near a root, so I wasn’t even sure if I could hit it,” she said. “Thankfully, I hit just the top of it. It’s so scary when you have those types of shots. To drain a long putt was nice, too.”
She’s got experienced company at the top of the leaderboard though and Lizette Salas managed to follow-up her super opening round with another solid performance and hit all 18 greens in regulation on the Highlands Course.
“I’m definitely satisfied,” Salas said. “We came in with some goals, and we’re reaching them. I think overall my attitude has been pretty solid. It’s a major; it’s supposed to be tough. It’s supposed to test you in several different ways, and I think I’m handling it quite well, and back-to-back 67s, I’m not going to complain. I think this is good momentum going into the weekend.”