BELMONT, Mich. — Jennifer Kupcho opened a two-stroke lead over defending champion Nelly Korda on Friday inside the LPGA Meijer Fundamental, capturing a 5-under 67 in windy conditions for her second straight bogey-free spherical.
A stroke ahead moving into the morning spherical after a career-best 63 on Thursday afternoon, Kupcho had a 14-under 130 full at wind-swept Blythefield Nation Membership.
“It’s really windy out proper right here,” Kupcho talked about. “I don’t recall it being this windy the ultimate couple years, so that’s positively attention-grabbing, positively an issue. You positively need to make use of your thoughts hundreds.”
Korda holed out from 82 yards for eagle on the par-5 14th in a bogey-free 65. She’s making her second start since getting back from a four-month break attributable to a blood clot in her left arm.
“It spun correct once more into the opening,” Korda talked about regarding the eagle. “Not many people seen it. It was that part of the golf course that no one really seen, however it was fulfilling.”
Kupcho gained the important thing occasion at Mission Hills inside the California desert in early April for her first LPGA Tour victory. On Friday, she parred the first eight holes, lastly breaking by the use of on the par-5 18th.
“I started out not going hitting it good, so was really merely attempting to stay affected particular person,” Kupcho talked about. “Couple holes saved par, so I actually acquired out of the holes pretty properly.”
She made it three straight with birdies on the par-4 first and second and added two additional on the par-3 fifth and par-5 eighth.
“I didn’t really depend on an entire lot coming out proper right here right now,” Kupcho talked about. “Set a reasonably low bar for myself, so to come back again out and play properly, it was good to see.”
The second-ranked Korda tied for eighth two weeks up to now inside the U.S. Women’s Open in her first event since early February. She can be the defending champion subsequent week inside the KPGA Women’s PGA at Congressional.
“There have been positively some numbers I’ve certainly not had into some holes on this golf course,” Korda talked about regarding the wind. “I indicate, it’s every strategies. You have gotten some really fast yardages holes and some really prolonged ones, so type of evens it out. Nevertheless it absolutely’s positively extra sturdy having fun with inside the wind.”
Carlota Ciganda was third at 11 beneath after a 65. The Spaniard eagled the par-5 eighth and 18th — hitting downwind 9-iron approaches on each — and as well as had six birdies and three bogeys. She was 7 beneath on the 5 par-5 holes.
“I consider the necessary factor was that I hit various greens every days, yesterday and right now,” Ciganda talked about. “It’s pretty robust with the wind.”
Earlier champions Lexi Thompson and Brooke Henderson had been 10 beneath with Madelene Sagstrom.
Henderson, the ShopRite LPGA Fundamental winner Sunday in New Jersey and 2017 and 2019 champion at Blythefield, eagled the 18th for the second straight day in a 66. She carried out alongside Korda.
“Excited for the weekend,” Henderson talked about. “I’ve to make some strikes tomorrow, nevertheless positively making an attempt forward to the prospect.”
Thompson, the 2015 winner, matched Sagstrom with a 69.
“Midway by the use of the doorway 9, I was like, `Can we flip spherical and start going the alternative strategy inside the good wind?'” Thompson talked about “Nevertheless it absolutely was a matter of staying affected particular person and truly committing to your traces on these crosswind holes.”
Caroline Masson (68) and Anna Nordqvist (70) had been 9 beneath.
Gerina Mendoza, a stroke once more after a niche 64, had a 72 to fall six strokes once more at 8 beneath. Jessica Korda, Nelly’s older sister, moreover was inside the group at 8 beneath after her second 68.
“Truly, merely attempting to take care of it in play,” Jessica Korda talked about. “It was really windy in the marketplace.”
U.S. Women’s Open champion Minjee Lee was 7 beneath after a 69.