Korda, Choi share Reignwood LPGA Classic lead
Beijing, China – Beijing, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Jessica Korda and Na Yeon Choi fired matching 9-under 64s on Thursday to share the lead at the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic.
Stacy Lewis, Hee Young Park and Hee Kyung Seo each carded a 5-under 68 at Pine Valley Golf Club to share third place.
"I finished second in Alabama this year and got a little taste of it and that second win," said Korda. "I'm kind of going after it. I had a great break for two weeks after Evian back in Czech Republic with my family and I feel really relaxed here. It seems to be a really good golf course; it suits my eye. I'm excited for what the next three days bring."
World No. 1 Inbee Park is among a group of players to shoot a 4-under 69 to sit in a tie for sixth place. Joining Park in sixth are China native Liying Ye, Amy Yang, Carlota Ciganda, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Anna Nordqvist, Paola Moreno and Jane Park.
Korda opened her round with a birdie at the first before adding two more gains at the third and fourth.
She added birdies at the sixth and eighth to make the turn at 5-under.
After Korda poured in back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th, she rolled in another pair of birdies at the 16th and 17th to reach 9-under. She closed with a par at the last to finish their and grab the clubhouse lead.
Choi, meanwhile, converted birdie chances at the second and third before capping her outward 32 with gains at the eighth and ninth.
She would add a birdie at the 11th to move to 5-under, and later raced into a share of the lead by pouring in birdies at her final four holes to meet Korda at 9-under.
"The good thing is I learn every day," said Choi. "The beginning of this year I didn't do that much, maybe trying too much. But right now I know what I have to do and what's my job. So I just need to stick with it. I think especially this year I put a lot of pressure on myself. This year I was no. 2 in the world and I tried to be no. 1, over trying."
Lewis and Hee Young Park each recorded five birdies during their bogey-free rounds, while Seo traded three bogeys with an eagle and six birdies to grab her share of third place.
NOTES: This is the first time the LPGA Tour has visited Beijing ... The field for this event consists of players from both the LPGA and China LPGA ... Choi is seeking her eighth career victory on the LPGA Tour, while Korda is trying to collect her second win on tour ... Shanshan Feng, the highest ranked player from China in the field at No. 10, carded a 3-under 70 during her opening round and sits in a tie for 14th place. Feng became the first Chinese golfer -- male or female -- to win a major championship when she took the title at the 2012 Wegmans LPGA Championship.