Friday, March 1, 2024

LPGA Drive On Championship: Nelly Korda takes four-shot lead over Lydia Ko, Megan Khang and Ayaka Furue -Dlight News

Hometown favourite Nelly Korda shot a three under 68 with an eagle-birdie finish Saturday to take a four-shot lead into the final round of the LPGA Drive On Championship

Trying to complete a wire-to-wire victory at Bradenton Country Club, Korda rebounded with the late flurry, after making consecutive bogeys on the seventh and eighth, to move onto 13 under overall.

Tournament of Champions winner Lydia Ko was tied for second, after a round of 69, at nine under along with Megan Khang (66) and Ayaka Furue (69).

“I’m actually kind of taken back with how much support I’ve been getting this week,” said Korda.

“Being in Florida I always get a lot of support, but hometown, it’s crazy. I was born just in the hospital just down the road from here. It’s been nice seeing friends and family come out, feeling the support.

“It’s a confidence boost knowing I can climb up the leaderboard and contend and stay in contention. Definitely didn’t have the great start today.”

With Saturday’s performance, the 25-year-old Korda is 18 holes away from her first victory on the LPGA Tour since November of 2022, when she won the Pelican Women’s Championship.

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Nelly Korda hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour for over a year

Tied in fifth at five shots behind Korda is Xiyu Lin, Sei Young Kim, Robyn Choi and Auston Kim, who secured the lowest round with seven-under 64 to skyrocket 35 spots up the leaderboard.

Kim collected three birdies and an eagle over her final five holes. She finished with six birdies for her round, logging just one bogey – at the par three ninth.

“It was a bit of a blur. I was just playing golf. I honestly can’t remember what my scorecard looks like,” Kim said.

“I made bogey on nine unfortunately, I was an unfortunate three-putt; missed a really short one. But that helped me lock in a little bit more, provide a little bit extra focus.

“Once I made the turn, I felt like I was moving at really good pace, really good tempo.”

South Korea’s So Mi Lee, who was in second after the second round on Friday, limped to a five over 76 on Saturday to drop into a tie for 22nd.

Last year’s winner, Celine Boutier of France, is also in a tie for 22nd following a one over 72.

Watch the final round of the LPGA Drive On Championship on Sunday from 6.30pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Mix, which is free if you have a Sky box. Stream golf and more top sport with NOW.

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