Mon, 17 May 2021

Jessica Korda on top after first round at LA Open

Field Level Media
22 Apr 2021, 12:55 GMT+10

Jessica Korda closed with consecutive birdies to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Hugel-Air Premia L.A. Open on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Korda shot a 7-under-par 64 at Wilshire Country Club, carding eight birdies and a lone bogey.

Hong Kong's Tiffany Chan and Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn share second place at 6 under.

Australia's Su Oh, Spain's Carlota Ciganda and U.S. players Dana Finkelstein, Austin Ernst and Nelly Korda are tied for fourth at 5 under. Eight players, including South Korea's Sei Young Kim, share 10th place at 4 under.

Jessica Korda birdied her first two holes, then added three consecutive birdies from No. 8 to No. 10. Following her lone bogey at No. 12, she birdied three of the last four holes.

"I was lucky enough that I was hitting the ball well last week," said Jessica Korda, who has six career LPGA Tour wins. "I just wasn't making any putts, and so I was kind of just taking that mentality into this week. Like if I can maybe drop some putts, I can have a good round.

"But out here it's tough. This isn't an easy golf course at all. I was lucky to be able to position myself in the right spots off the tee and take advantage of the short putts that I did have for birdie."

Chan ran off a string of four consecutive birdies on the front nine, and she also had only one bogey.

Jutanugarn started and finished well but had a huge wobble in the middle. She made six birdies on the front nine, but she double-bogeyed No. 11 and then bogeyed Nos. 13 and 14. She recovered to birdie each of the last four holes.

"It's like kind of like ... a roller coaster," she said. "To be honest, it was like I enjoy playing today and I have no idea how many birdies I made or what I shot today. I mean, I don't realize until I signed the scorecard I shot 29 on the backside today.

"It was pretty fun. You know, a lot of ... good things out there and ... it's pretty solid."

Reigning LA Open champion Minjee Lee of New Zealand, who captured the title in 2019 before the event was canceled last year due to the pandemic, is tied for 43rd at 1 under.

New Zealand's Lydia Ko, coming off a seven-shot win on Saturday at the Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii, stumbled to a 7-over 78 on Wednesday. Her card featured two double bogeys, four bogeys and just one birdie.

--Field Level Media

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