JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (AP) — Lizette Salas spent great of her time Saturday looking at Nelly Korda sooner than her in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
In the fairway, no longer on the leaderboard.
Korda blasted a drive on the opening hole at Atlanta Athletic Club and hit 9-iron to 4 feet. Salas hit 7-wooden to the center of the inexperienced and holed a 45-foot birdie putt to test her.
It modified into relish that at some point of the entrance nine, the place Salas turned a one-shot deficit into a two-shot lead till Korda finally caught up to her on the again nine.
Salas had a third straight 5-below 67. Korda had a 68. They had been tied for the lead at 15-below 201, five photos sure of anybody else.
“Lizette modified into rolling in some good ones at the present time and I instructed myself, ‘I’ve bought to hit it shut to even sustain together with her,’” Korda stated. “Whereas you happen to rep into that mindset of kind of egging every other on, it’s stress-free, nevertheless it’s also nerve-racking.”
Two very completely different games in the atomize led to the connected derive. The one commonality is both are chasing their first main championship Sunday.
At stake for Korda is an change to reach No. 1 in the world.
Salas relied on precision and mammoth putts to accomplish up for a mammoth energy gap against Korda. She modified into shut to flawless on the entrance nine with a 30 till her first bogey of the occasion on No. 10 slowed her momentum .
Korda, the 22-one year-oldschool coming off a victory last week on the LPGA Tour, performed bogey-free nonetheless did no longer exhaust her dimension to capitalize on the par 5s on the again nine.
“Knowing that I’m no longer the longest hitter, I think I’m feeble to that,” Salas stated. “I think I’m in voice that overjoyed in saying, ‘You know what? I’m going to hit first,’ and knowing my sport. … Let’s just play boring golf and let’s give ourselves genuine appears to be like at birdie.”
They had been five photos sooner than a trio that includes Patty Tavatanakit, the Thai well-known one that won the first LPGA Tour main of the one year at the ANA Inspiration. Tavatanakit ran off four straight birdies towards the finish of her round for a 65.
Joining her five photos behind had been Giulia Molinaro of Italy (66) and Celine Boutier of France, who had a 69 while playing in the final crew with the co-leaders.
Boutier had reason to think she modified into out of the occasion when she fell nine photos behind as the crew modified into approaching the turn. She modified into playing fine. It’s just that Salas modified into playing out of this world, and Korda modified into shut to the connected.
Salas, who started the week by sharing her emotional struggles of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, started her round by holing that 45-foot putt all over the inexperienced. After a wedge to a few feet for a birdie on the par-5 second, she drained a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 3.
That modified into spot up by another fairway metal. Korda modified into continuously some 35 yards past her off the tee, hitting brief irons when Salas modified into hitting hybrids and fairway metals. It’s a wonder her caddie, John Killeen, didn’t lose any head covers.
No subject. The 31-one year-oldschool Californian couldn’t lumber over. She introduced a U.S. Initiate sport — fairways and greens, nothing adore — to the Women’s PGA and it labored.
Salas took the lead for the first time with a 5-hybrid into 25 feet and another long birdie putt on the par-3 seventh, and she hit a 4-hybrid into 12 feet into No. 8, a hole that yielded finest eight birdies the complete round.
“I didn’t understand I shot 30 till I signed my scorecard,” Salas stated. “Obviously, it’s stress-free while you play relish that. I think it’s genuine momentum going into the next day.”
But after 45 holes without a bogey to begin this main, Salas caught a tough lie on the edge of a fairway bunker left of the 10th feet, the ball above her feet as she tried to find stability on either a slope or in the sand. She performed brief, hit a extinct wedge and two-putted from 25 feet.
Korda caught her with a birdie on the 13th, and they both made pars coming in.
Tavatanakit never lost hope even as she fell 10 photos behind, even after her driver cracking in the first round and two subsequent days trying — and failing — to find a change she would possibly per chance well well per chance trust. The aged UCLA well-known particular person made up ground in the final hour with four straight birdies, including her 6-iron to 10 feet on the tricky par-3 15th.
“I modified into just trying to pass left, then I pushed one right and I modified into relish, ‘For God’s sakes just carry that water.’ And I did it, and it ended up proper being truly shut.”
It’s completely different from her victory at the ANA Inspiration, the place she started the final round with a five-shot lead.
“No longer going to lie, I relish chasing more than I relish having the lead,” she stated. “I truly have something to find out about forward to or simply find out about up to all the the time. No subject what what occurs the next day, I truly feel relish I already have a sincere week, considering my concern with the driver. I truly feel relish I truly have proved to myself that I will be succesful to play out here below any conditions.”
More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports