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Korda fires to claim PGA Championship clubhouse lead

3 minute read

World No.1 Nelly Korda has made a promising start in her quest for a second major of the year with a three-under-par opening to the Women's PGA Championship.

Nelly Korda.
Nelly Korda. Picture: AAP Image

World No.1 Nelly Korda has bounced back to form to grab the early clubhouse lead during the opening round of the Women's PGA Championship in Washington.

After missing the cut at her past two events, including the US Open, Korda birdied her final hole to set the standard again with a three-under-par 69 at Sahalee Country Club.

World No.5 and 2019 PGA champion Hannah Green is the leading Australian, two shots back in pursuit of a second major championship.

Korda started on the back nine and made four birdies in her first five holes. But parts of the morning were a scramble for the American as the Douglass fir, red cedar and hemlock trees of Sahalee played their role in making it a challenge.

A double bogey on the par-4 fourth hole dropped her back to two under.

"If you try and be aggressive when you've hit it off line, it just bites you in the butt," Korda said.

"Overall I think I played pretty well. I took my chances where I could and I played safe the majority of the round."

Korda dropped a 15-foot putt on the par-3 ninth hole to take a one-shot advantage.

Seven players were one shot back after the morning starters finished, including major winners Allisen Corpuz and Celine Boutier, Charley Hull and Leona Maguire.

Maguire led this tournament after the third round last year at Baltusrol, but shot 74 on the final day and finished four shots back of the winner, Ruoning Yin.

Playing with Korda, Yin rebounded from a rough start and shot 33 on her second nine to shoot 71.

Green also started on the back nine and birdied her first two holes to set the early pace.

Three mid-round bogies seemed to stall her momentum before she picked up a third birdie on her last hole of the round, the par-3 ninth after a lovely tee shot.

The afternoon wave included Australia's world No.10 Minjee Lee, retirning star Lexi Thompson, fellow American Lilia Vu, who won last week in her return from a back injury; and Brooke Henderson, the 2016 winner at Sahalee.

With AP

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