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Brooke Henderson fires low spherical of 68, two again heading into last day of LPGA opener


ORLANDO, Fla. – Nelly Korda is simply forward of a stacked area – together with Smiths Falls, Ont.’s Brooke Henderson – going into the ultimate spherical of the Hilton Grand Holidays Match of Champions, the LPGA’s 2022 kickoff occasion. 4 ladies who’ve gained majors are among the many high 5 gamers.

Korda, the world’s No. 1 and five-time winner in 2021 (together with an Olympic gold medal), restricted her errors on Saturday for a 3-under 69 with 4 birdies and a bogey, and is 13-under 203 general. Korda, 23, gained the 2021 Gainbridge LPGA on the identical course, Lake Nona Golf and Nation Membership.

Danielle Kang, the runner-up at this event a 12 months in the past, and Mexico’s Gaby Lopez, the 2020 TOC champion, every went bogey-free in matching Korda’s 69, and can start the ultimate spherical one shot again. Henderson and Japan’s Yuka Saso matched the day’s low rating of 68 and can start Sunday two and three strokes behind Korda, respectively.

Kang, Henderson and Saso all have gained main championships.

Korda is in search of her eighth profession LPGA title. The extra she will get within the hunt, the extra poised she seems to be. On Saturday, she performed alongside a former No. 1 participant, Annika Sorenstam, who gained 72 occasions on the LPGA and leads the celeb area.

“I do not suppose anybody is ever actually comfy sleeping on a lead in a way, however I am simply going to see how I can develop from this chance, attempt to take my greatest golf into tomorrow, and see the way it goes,” Korda mentioned.

Kang held the lead briefly on the again 9 and has made just one bogey in three rounds. A Californian who by no means performed very effectively within the chilly, she would rise early at dwelling in Las Vegas within the offseason and make herself follow when it was chilly and windy. She experimented with clothes layers that would not inhibit her swing.

“There may be nonetheless plenty of progress to be made,” mentioned Kang, 29, who had a uncommon winless season a 12 months in the past. (This TOC area is includes 29 winners of occasions within the final three LPGA seasons). “I made a pair swings on the market the place I simply froze up. My physique does not react that effectively within the chilly.”

Kang had back-to-back birdies beginning on the par-3 thirteenth. At 14, with the tee on the brief par-4 pushed as much as 251 yards, she drove the inexperienced and narrowly missed her eagle putt from 20 ft.

“I gave myself plenty of par alternatives at the moment,” she mentioned. “I did not actually give myself plenty of birdie alternatives, however capitalized on a pair I did have, which I used to be happy with myself. I feel my largest factor I am happy with is that I am simply staying within the second, staying in what I must do. I can not rally management what different folks do.”

Lopez, 28, has been spectacular all week. She had made solely two birdies by the point she reached the tee on the 398-yard closing gap on Saturday, staying affected person, and even with drive, nonetheless had 162 yards left instantly into the wind. She hit one among her greatest photographs of the day, a strong 5-iron to 12 ft, and buried the putt, ending with birdie for a second consecutive day.

Lopez mentioned she has performed with “bravery” this week.

“With the ability to step up with Gaby with out her demons, and along with her doubts, and the moments of uncertainty,” Lopez mentioned. “With the ability to step up and say, `Hey, I am right here for a motive. I labored my entire life for this.’ … No matter occurs tomorrow, it’ll be high-quality. I am fairly certain we will play some strong golf this 12 months.”

Sorenstam, who gained final summer time’s U.S. Girls’s Senior Open and is a member at Lake Nona, leads the celeb division, which makes use of a Modified Stableford scoring system.

The race is a good one. She has 104 factors, two factors higher than former MLB pitcher Derek Lowe, 4 forward of former tennis participant Mardy Fish and 5 forward of army veteran Chad Pfeifer. The winner among the many celebrities will earn $100,000. The LPGA champion will earn $225,000.




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