Jessica Korda is running away with the LA Open — can she close?

jessica korda

Jessica Korda is looking for her second win this season.

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If some is good, more is even better for Jessica Korda at Wilshire Country Club. After tying the course record with a 64 on Wednesday, she nearly did it again with a second-round 65 on Thursday to take a three-shot lead at the HUGEL Air Premia LA Open.

Korda opening with a victory back in January, but her previous two events in April both ended with finishes outside the top 35. Beyond that, she took a redeye flight from Hawaii and played just nine holes at Wilshire during a practice round. But here she is now, halfway to her second victory in four months. 

“Being able to make a lot of birdies helps,” Korda said Thursday. “I know the last couple events I’ve made a lot of bogeys, as well, which has kind of killed my momentum a little bit, and that’s the only thing we’re trying to change a little bit is maybe play a little bit smarter and starting to get a little bit more consistent with my swing which is really nice.”

She tied the 18-hole scoring record and set a 36-hole record at the event, largely behind incredible ball-striking. Korda has hit 33 of 36 greens in regulation, and as she said, “When I did miss, it wasn’t by much.” 

Ask her plainly and — despite holding a commanding lead — it sounds like she could have finished even better: “It’s going to sound crazy but I actually lipped out a good amount out there today, so it actually could have been lower.”

She has a handful of the best women in the world chasing after her, beginning Friday afternoon. Jin Young Ko will play in the final pairing with Korda — she’s the No. 1 player in the world — at 10 under, while Sei Young Kim and Brooke Henderson — Nos. 3 and 6 in the world — are at nine and eight under, respectively. 

You can watch the LPGA on Golf Channel each of the next two nights, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday.


Sean Zak Editor

Zak is a writer at GOLF Magazine and just finished a book about the summer he spent in St. Andrews.