Korda sister act, defending champions lead LPGA invitational

World number one Nelly Korda and sister Jessica fired a five-under-par 65 to join a four-way tie at the top of the first-round leaderboard at the LPGA’s Great Lakes Bay Invitational team tournament on Wednesday. Nelly Korda is chasing a fourth title this season after individual wins at the Gainbridge LPGA, Meijer LPGA Classic and the Women’s PGA Championship. The competition in Midland, Michigan, offers elder sister Jessica Korda a chance for a second victory of 2021 after her win at the Tournament of Champions in Lake Buena Vista, Florida in January. The tournament, which was launched in 2019 but cancelled last year due to the pandemic, follows an alternate shot or foursome format in the first and third rounds and better ball, or fourball, in the second and final round. Joining the Kordas at the top of the leaderboard were 2019 defending champions Cydney Clanton of the United States and partner Jasmine Suwannapura of Thailand, also on five under. Clanton said she and Suwannapura bring out the best in each other. “We played off each other really well,” Clanton said. “Our putters were hot today, we made a lot of really clutch putts which I think just helped with momentum moving forward. “We try not to apologize for anything because you’re going to hit bad shots and it’s like OK, well let’s just figure out what to do next…I think we blended really well today.” India’s Aditi Ashok and Thailand’s Pajaree Anannarukam were also on five under along with US duo Jillian Hollis and Lauren Stephenson. Thai duo Wichanee Meechai and Pavarisa Yoktuan were one off the lead on four under, tied for second with Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and England’s Mel Reid. Two all South-Korean pairings — Park In-bee and Ryu So-yeon, and Hur Mi-jung with Lee6 Jeong-eun, were on three under alongside Thai sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn.


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