WASHINGTON (AFP) – US teen rookie Yealimi Noh fired a five-under 66 to grab a share of the lead with Jessica Korda and Anna Nordqvist after Friday’s (Dec 4) second round of the LPGA Volunteers of America Championship.
The 19-year-old fired her second-best round of the year to stand on four-under 138 alongside compatriot Korda, who fired a second straight 69, and Sweden’s Nordqvist, who shot 68 at The Colony in suburban Dallas.
Noh, who started with a birdie on the back nine followed by her lone bogey at the par-three 11th, reeled off four birdies in a row starting at the par-five 17th and added another at the par-three seventh to finish among the leaders.
“I feel really good about how I’m hitting it,” she said. “I hit a lot of greens today. I hit a lot close and made the putts so that was nice.”
Her best LPGA finish was a runner-up effort at last year’s Portland Classic.
“Just having this round under my belt make me feel really nice,” Noh said. “It gives me a lot more confidence going into the weekend.”
Korda sandwiched birdies at the par-five second and sixth holes around a bogey at the fourth and sank back-to-back birdies at the ninth and 10th before taking a bogey at the par-five 13th.
“It was tough,” she said. “Front-nine pins were gettable. Back nine pins it was defence all day.
“I’m happy with my ball striking. I don’t know what else I could have done, I really don’t. I just have to stick it out.”
Nordqvist opened with a birdie, added another on the eighth and began the back nine with a birdie as well. She also birdied the par-four 12th but closed with her lone bogey to miss out on sole possession of the lead.
“I played really solid out there,” she said. “There were a lot of tough pin placements out there.”
American Lindsey Weaver (68) was one stroke back in fourth on 139 with a pack on 140 including South Korea’s world No. 5 Park In-bee (68) and Ko Jin-young, American Angela Stanford, Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum.