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Nelly Korda One Off The Lead In Chevron Championship With Eye On Equalling LPGA Tour Record

Nelly Korda remains on track for a record-tying fifth straight victory as she contends at the year’s opening LPGA major. The women’s world No 1 shot a three-under 69 second round to be one shot off the pace at the Chevron Championship in Texas on Friday local time.

Joint leaders Atthaya Thitikul (67) and Jin Hee Im (67) lead Korda by one stroke while eight under at the halfway point, as several former winners failed to make the cut.

Korda began the day two shots off the lead after opening with a 68 at Carlton Woods and made a double bogey at the opening hole but rallied with six birdies. She is seeking her second major after winning the Women’s PGA Championship in 2021.

The 25-year-old could join Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) as the only players to win five consecutive LPGA Tour events. She was asked if it felt inevitable that she would tie the record after her recent run of success and strong play in the first two rounds.

“I’m just at the halfway point right now. The amount of golf that I’ve played, I still have that to go,” Korda said. “There is still a lot of golf left and anything can happen. Just going to stick to my process and vibe with … what my coach says.”

Thitikul, a 21-year-old from Thailand who has won twice on the LPGA Tour, missed the beginning of this season with a thumb injury. She made six birdies and one bogey on Friday.

Im is in her first season on the LPGA Tour after playing the Korean LPGA since 2018. She went bogey-free on Friday.

Former world No 1 Lydia Ko, who won this tournament in 2016 at Mission Hills in the California desert, shot 71 and was part of a big group four shots back. She missed the cut last year in the Chevron’s first season in Texas.

Past champions to finish among the 73 players that missed the cut this year were Patty Tavatanakit (2021), Jin Young Ko (2019), Pernilla Lindberg (2018), So Yeon Ryu (2017), Lexi Thompson (2014), Stacy Lewis (2011) and Yani Tseng (2010).

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Steph Kyriacou was the leading Australian, five shots from the lead after a 69, while Gabriela Ruffels slipped to two under after a 73, with Sarah Kemp (73) a shot further back, as Robyn Choi (73) and Karis Davidson (74) scraped through the cut at two over.

But Australia’s biggest names Minjee Lee and Hannah Green made early exits. World No 5 Lee endured a dismal week, posting a 77 to miss the cut at seven over, along with fellow major winner Green (72, five over) and youngster Grace Kim (72, four over).

Kyriacou, 23, has two top 10 finishes in majors and believes she can step up this weekend. “In the past I’ve kind of got scared of being in the spotlight,” Kyriacou told LPGA Media. “This weekend I’m going to embrace it a bit more and try to do what I did the last couple of days.”

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