Sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda made a late push up the leaderboard to join a four-way tie for the lead at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, a team event on the LPGA Tour, Wednesday at Midland Country Club in Midland, Mich.
The Kordas birdied the 16th and 18th holes to finish with a 5-under 65. Jillian Hollis and Lauren Stephenson, Cydney Clanton and Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura, and India’s Aditi Ashok and Thailand’s Pajaree Anannarukarn also finished Wednesday at 5 under.
Nelly Korda is the No. 1-ranked player in the world, still fresh off her first major victory at the Women’s PGA Championship in June. Older sister Jessica is ranked No. 13 in the world.
Clanton and Suwannapura are the defending champions dating back to 2019, the first year the LPGA had a team event; the tournament was scrapped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They recorded six birdies and one bogey for their opening 65.
“I think we trust each other’s games a lot,” Suwannapura said. “Like when we play good, we’re (going) right along, good golf game, but when we miss a shot it’s kind of like we feel like we touch each other — she got this, I got this, and then we make up-and-down for par. I think that’s a big key for us.”
Hollis and Stephenson birdied three of their last four holes and finished without a bogey on their card.
“We started off the first hole on a good note,” Stephenson said. “(Hollis) had a good up-and-down, so it kind of eased us right in, but I feel like we just tried to have fun and we made zero bogeys in alternate-shot, which I feel like on your own is impressive, but doing that in alternate-shot is pretty great.”
The field played alternate-shot on Wednesday and will transition to best ball for Thursday’s second round. The formats will alternate again after the cut with an alternate-shot third round and a final round of best ball.
Two teams tied for fifth with a 4-under 66: Wichanee Meechai and Pavarisa Yoktuan, both of Thailand, and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and England’s Mel Reid.
South Korean stars Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu, Thai sisters Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn and South Korea’s Mi Jung Hur and Jeongeun Lee6 are tied at 3 under.
–Field Level Media
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