Nelly Korda came to Hawaii and got off to a blazing start on Wednesday when the trade winds decided to take the day off.
Korda shot a dazzling nine-under par 63 at the Ko Olina GolfClub, but when the winds decided to return, her 68 on Thursday broke the old 36-hole record at the Lotte Championship but the bad news is that Eun-Hee Ji was two shots lower.
Ji followed up her opening 64 with a second round 65 and is a whopping 15-under par, four better than the old two-round record for the event.
Korda goes into moving day just two back of the South Korean leader.
“It was completely different to yesterday,” Korda explained. “I actually experienced Hawaii weather today. It was tough. I didn’t hit every shot perfect. I had a couple bogeys. But I ended up playing pretty solid today,” said Korda, who birdied four of her final five holes on the day.
The 20-year-old American won the Women’s Australian Open in February for her second LPGA Tour title. She opened the season with five straight top-10 finishes before tying for 52nd two weeks ago in the major ANA Inspiration. She’s currently second in the Race To The CME Globe standings.
Defending champion Brooke Henderson (68) and 2016 winner Minjee Lee (68) were tied for third at 11 under. If the 21-year-old Henderson claims her eighth LPGA Tour title Saturday, she will tie Sandra Post’s record for victories by a Canadian. Henderson and Korda played junior golf together.
“It’s pretty cool to have us both make it this far on tour,” Henderson said. “Growing up playing junior events together I think this was both of our dreams, so it’s pretty cool to come out here and have it be a reality every single day.”
Michelle Wie was hoping a return to her home state would help her comeback from wrist surgery but her struggles continued. A pair of 77s left her 10-over par and she missed the cut.