4 things to know from Round 2 at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

nelly korda fist bumps her caddie

Nelly Korda surged into the lead at Atlanta Athletic Club on Friday.

Getty Images

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Thirty-six holes down, 36 to go. We’re officially at the halfway mark of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and plenty can happen as we head to the weekend.

The second round had loads of excitement, a healthy dose of birdies, and even a little bit of controversy. Here’s everything you need to know about Friday at Atlanta Athletic Club.

1. Wie West makes the cut

Michelle Wie West hadn’t made the cut at a major since 2018, but thanks to some inspired play on Friday, she’ll stick around for the weekend in Atlanta.

Wie West’s prospects of making the cut looked grim after an opening-round 77, but she followed the lackluster round up with a three-under 69 in Round 2 to get inside the cut line.

The key to her success? A pep talk from her husband, Johnnie West.

“I was definitely moping after my round yesterday, and I was talking to my husband, and he told me to ‘get my head out of my a–,’ so I did,” she said. “I played, got my head out of my a–, and I played some golf today.”

With her head back in the right place, Wie West made five birdies during the second round and vaulted up the leaderboard. If she can keep finding birdies on Saturday, she could play herself onto the fringes of contention.

Read more about Wie West’s second round here.

2. Slow-play controversy

Maria Fassi was assessed a slow-play penalty during the second round of the Women’s PGA, and it cost her dearly.  

Fassi received the penalty after getting a bad time on No. 18 while her group was on the clock. Her mind was never the same after the penalty and the 23-year-old limped home with a 39 on the front nine (her group started on No. 10).

“[It’s] pretty frustrating,” she said. “I’m not a slow player.”

When Fassi came off the course after the round, she was irate with the decision to hand down the penalty as it dropped her outside the cut line. The number waffled a bit throughout the afternoon, but ultimately the cut settled at two over and Fassi missed by one shot.

“I guess it’s a lesson learned,” Fassi said. “It won’t happen again, that’s for sure.”

Is it really a major championship if there’s not some controversy?

Read more on Fassi’s slow-play debacle here.

3. Salas stays steady

Lizette Salas was an unlikely leader after the opening round, but on Friday, she proved she belonged.

Salas shot a bogey-free 67 during the second round — her second bogey-free round in a row to open the championship — and is 10 under through two rounds, just one shot behind leader Nelly Korda.

“I’m definitely satisfied,” Salas said. “We came in with some goals, and we’re reaching them … I’ve done a lot of good things, and I think this is good momentum going into the weekend.”

The 31-year-old has four career top 10s in majors, her most recent coming in 2019 at the Women’s Open Championship but has not recorded a win on the LPGA Tour since 2014.

She will play alongside Korda tomorrow as they each chase their first major championship victory.

4. Nelly surges

“I just blacked out out there.”

Those were the words Nelly Korda used to describe her scorching nine-under round of 63 that vaulted her into the solo lead heading into the weekend and sent jolts through the grounds at Atlanta Athletic Club Friday afternoon.

Korda began her day with a bogey at the 10th, but from there on in she was nearly perfect. She carded 10 birdies over her final 17 holes — including six in a row to finish the round — to tie the 18-hole championship scoring record.

The 22-year-old heads into the weekend in search of adding to her already-impressive resume as she looks to become the first American major winner in women’s golf since Angela Stanford in 2018.

Read more about Korda’s record-setting day here.

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.