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Nanna Koerstz Madsen takes 2-shot lead at JTBC

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Sep 4, 2021; Toledo, Ohio, USA; Nanna Koerstz Madsen of Team Europe tees off on the fourteenth hole during afternoon fourball in the 2021 Solheim Cup at Inverness Club. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen fired a 5-under-par 67 on Friday to assume a two-shot lead at the JTBC Classic in Carlsbad, Calif.

Madsen, who opened with four birdies on the first five holes, sits at 11-under 133 through 36 holes at Aviara Golf Club.

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko (second-round 67) and South Korea’s Hye-Jin Choi (68) are tied for second at 9 under, two shots back. Lydia Ko won the Carlsbad event in 2016.

First-round leader Jin Young Ko of South Korea shot 1-under 71 to drop to a fourth-place tie at 8 under.

Madsen, who fought off two bogeys on the day, said her win at the Honda LPGA Thailand two weeks ago has been a confidence-booster.

“Yeah, I figured out this year. I haven’t figured out the other years,” Madsen said. “I’m definitely playing better this year than I’ve done previous years I played. I have confidence out there winning like two weeks ago. Yeah, making a lot of good putts and hitting a lot of greens.”

South Korean Na Rin An (second-round 67) and Canadian Maude-Aimee Leblanc (68) are tied with in fourth with Ko, who got off to a sluggish start. She carded back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 2 and 3 before righting herself with three birdies the rest of the round.

“I don’t know what happened, but (the) greens are a little tricky to me so I missed a lot of putts, so (that’s) the reason why I couldn’t (score in the) 60s today,” Ko said.

Defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea is one of seven players tied for ninth place at 5 under.

–Field Level Media