Jennifer Kupcho shot a 5-under-par 67 Friday to maintain the lead at the Meijer LPGA Classic, but world No. 2 Nelly Korda moved into contention and sits two shots back after the second round in Belmont, Mich.
Kupcho moved to 14 under for the tournament after building on her first-round 63. She made five birdies and stayed bogey-free for the second straight round at Blythefield Country Club.
Kupcho earned her first career LPGA win earlier this year at the ANA Inspiration, the first major of the season. Now the 25-year-old is in the driver’s seat after 36 holes.
“I think it’s just having a confident mindset and knowing that I can do it,” Kupcho said. “Obviously I’ve won a lot in amateur golf, so, yeah, I was cold for a couple years, so to be able to come out and win, I think it just gives a lot of confidence to be able to win on this level.”
One of the best players in the world is on her tail. Korda, the defending champion of this event, fired five birdies and an eagle Friday for a bogey-free, 7-under 65. Her eagle came at the par-5 14th hole.
“I hit it out into the rough with my drive, laid up, and I had — I don’t know how far I had in,” Korda said. “I probably had I think 82 yards and it spun right back into the hole. Not many people saw it. It was that part of the golf course that no one really saw, but it was fun.”
Korda missed about four months of the season due to a blood clot in her arm and is playing her second tournament since coming back. She tied for eighth at the U.S. Women’s Open earlier this month.
“I’ve worked hard, so … I guess I’m not surprised,” Korda said. “I mean, I worked hard my entire life so I’m all about consistency. If I can put together a good round, then I’m happy with that.”
Carlota Ciganda of Spain matched Korda’s 65 to get to 11 under and secure sole possession of third place. Ciganda carded eagle 3s at both the eighth and 18th holes to go along with six birdies and three bogeys.
Canada’s Brooke Henderson (66), Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom (69) and Lexi Thompson (69) are all lurking in a tie for fourth at 10 under.
–Field Level Media