Nelly Korda eagles 18th to take lead in LPGA Meijer Classic

Jun 18, 2022, 3:19 AM | Updated: 4:10 pm

BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Defending champion Nelly Korda made a 22-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th for a 6-under 66 and the third-round lead Saturday in the LPGA Meijer Classic, with six majors champions topping the leaderboard.

Making her second start since returning from a four-month break because of a blood clot in her left arm, Korda also eagled the par-5 eighth and had three birdies and a bogey. She was at 18-under 198 at Blythefield Country Club.

“I’m just happy to be out there playing again,” Korda said. “I’m in contention, but, again, I’ve been in this position before. Thankfully, I can lean on that.”

Jennifer Kupcho, two strokes ahead of playing partner Korda entering the day, had a 69 to drop a shot back. She rebounded from her first bogey of the week — on the par-4 17th — with a two-putt birdie on 18.

“I wasn’t playing as well as I thought I should,” Kupcho said. “I think after a little bit of a rough start, missed a couple fairways, I kind of set a goal for myself to shoot 3 under and I did do that. So glad to have done that.”

The second-ranked Korda tied for eighth two weeks ago in the U.S. Women’s Open in her first event since early February. She also is the defending champion next week in the KPGA Women’s PGA at Congressional.

“I knew that I had enough practice under my belt and it was just more of like, `Can I put that into tournament golf kind of play,'” Korda said. “So far, I’ve played pretty well and hopefully I can continue.”

Kupcho won the major tournament at Mission Hills in the California desert in early April for her first LPGA Tour victory.

“The whole top of the leaderboard are all good players,” Kupcho said. “Anything can happen. Anything can happen on the back nine. There is a couple reachable par 5s.”

Brooke Henderson, the ShopRite LPGA Classic winner Sunday in New Jersey and 2017 and 2019 champion at Blythefield, was third at 15 under after a 67.

“Wasn’t my best day out there, but still shot minus 5 and still not too far away from the top,” Henderson said. “So, looking forward to tomorrow.”

Lexi Thompson, the 2015 winner, had a 68 to get to 14 under.

“I play this golf course pretty aggressively,” Thompson said.” Hit a lot of drivers, take a lot of corners on. So, probably not play any more aggressively, except maybe fire at a few more pins. All depends on pin locations, too.”

Play the same way I have been and maybe roll a few putts.

Minjee Lee, the U.S. Women’s Open winner, shot a 66 to join Lydia Ko (65) at 13 under.

Following the six major champions, Atthaya Thitikul (67) and Madelene Sagstrom (70) were tied for seventh at 12 under.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bump & Stacy Show

AP

Los Angeles Dodgers' Freddie Freeman, second from left, hits a solo home run as San Diego Padres st...
Associated Press

Dodgers go deep 3 times in 7-2 win over Padres

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Justin Turner homered during a seven-pitch span in the first inning, Tyler Anderson struck out six and the Los Angeles Dodgers continued their dominance of the San Diego Padres with a 7-2 victory Saturday. Freeman, Smith and Turner all connected for solo shots off Padres starter […]
20 hours ago
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman (2) talks with Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout before a baseball game S...
Associated Press

LEADING OFF: Trout’s strikeout slump, deGrom’s rehab start

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Sunday: ___ TROUT DROUGHT Angels star Mike Trout has struck out in seven straight at-bats during a tough series in Houston. Trout was 0 for 4 on Saturday after going 0 for 3 on Friday night against the Astros, fanning every time. “Just losing my posture […]
20 hours ago
Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Mark Leiter Jr., throws against the Boston Red Sox during the first inn...
Associated Press

Leiter works 5 1/3 in emergency relief, Cubs top Boston 3-1

CHICAGO (AP) — Mark Leiter Jr. threw 5 1/3 solid innings of emergency relief, Nico Hoerner and Patrick Wisdom each had two hits and the Chicago Cubs capitalized on a pair of Boston errors and beat the Red Sox 3-1 Saturday night. Four pitchers combined to limit the Red Sox to five hits as Chicago […]
20 hours ago
Toronto FC forward Jayden Nelson, right, flicks the ball over the head of Seattle Sounders defender...
Associated Press

Dylan Teves scores first MLS goal, Sounders beat Toronto 2-0

TORONTO (AP) — Dylan Teves scored his first MLS goal in his first start to help the undermanned Seattle Sounders beat Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday night. Teves deflected a centering pass into the goal in the 39th minute. The 22-year-old midfielder from Hawaii starred at the University of Washington. Fredy Montero doubled the lead […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Branden Grace wins LIV Golf’s first US tournament

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) — Branden Grace won LIV Golf’s first stop on American soil, an event that drew critics and protestors alike because of the upstart series’ funding by Saudi Arabia. Grace closed with a 7-under 65 on Saturday to finish at 13 under in the 54-hole tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. The […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Robert Wickens makes his way to his pit stall during practice for the Rolex 24 hour auto rac...
Associated Press

Wickens caps week with another win and birth of his son

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (AP) — What a week for Robert Wickens, who picked up his second win in seven days on Saturday while celebrating the birth of his first child. Wickens returned to his native Canada and teamed with countryman Mark Wilkins to win the Touring Car class of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at […]
20 hours ago
Nelly Korda eagles 18th to take lead in LPGA Meijer Classic