Can Nelly Korda get record sixth straight win? She’s in striking distance

Nelly Korda was in the afternoon wave Friday and started her second round at the 2024 Cognizant Founders Cup 10 shots back of Rose Zhang, who had just a few minutes before finished her second round at 13 under.

Korda then went out and promptly birdied her first two holes and four of her first seven to cut the lead to six. A couple of birdies on the back nine, including the 18th hole, got Korda to 9 under after 36 holes, four back of the lead held by Zhang and Madelene Sagstrom.

In other words: Game on.

Korda is one of only three in LPGA history to win five straight starts. She’s looking to be the first to claim six, and she’ll have a shot to do so this weekend at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey.

Korda has 10 birdies and just one bogey over two days. Zhang, who shot 63-68 in pursuit of her second LPGA win, led by as many at five strokes Friday but Sagstrom seems determined to not be left out of the fun this weekend as she has posted scores of 65 and 66. The three-time Solheim Cupper has one win on her LPGA resume, at the 2020 Gainbridge LPGA. Zhang also has one win, in the 2023 Mizuho Americas Open, next week’s event on the schedule.

The rain that started falling during Korda’s back nine didn’t seem to phase her in the least.

‘I think just lock in a lot more. I wish I locked in this much when the weather is really nice. Jay and I do a really good job going through everything and locking in,’ she said, crediting her caddie Jason McDede. ‘I hit 17 out of 18 greens and majority of the fairways today, so really happy with the way I played today.’

Korda, who insisted before the tournament started that she’s not thinking about the streak, also indicated she has not been scoreboard watching along the way.

‘I feel like I’m a lot behind the leaders. I think five shots, right? Five or four shots. I don’t know. Definitely more pressure on you when everyone is trying to get you, and there is something fun about trying to catch the leaders.

‘They’re both very different. I’m just going to stay in my bubble. This golf course is already hard enough, so not going to put that much pressure on myself trying to catch them. Wherever I can take advantage I will and see how it goes,’ Korda said.

Lydia Ko, who needs just one point to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame, shot a Friday 71 and is 4 under, tied for sixth, through 36 holes.

Jin Young Ko, who won three of the last four Founders Cups, shot 72-69 and is tied for 15th after two days.

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