Brooke Henderson and Nelly Korda will sq. off in an LPGA primetime exhibit Saturday in Hawaii, nevertheless it’s rarely a final-round duel, now not with a packed leaderboard that comes with different bold firepower.
Henderson and Korda, although, give the Lotte Championship a end that includes two of probably the most dynamic younger stars within the ladies’s sport, a couple of blonde bombers with covergirl seems to be who’re two of the most efficient drivers within the ladies’s sport.
Henderson, 21, and Korda, 20, will probably be within the last grouping with Minjee Lee, who at 22 turns out poised for a breakout marketing campaign that might release her into the dialog as the area’s very best participant. Lee is quietly sitting No. four within the Rolex Ladies’s Global Scores.
With a 3-under-par 69 Friday, Henderson moved atop the leaderboard with Korda (71) at 14 below total. They’re one shot forward of Lee (70) and Eun Hee Ji (74), the 2009 U.S. Ladies’s Open champion and winner of this yr’s LPGA season opener on the Diamond Hotels Event of Champions.
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Henderson is taking a look to win this championship in back-to-back years and declare her 8th LPGA name.
She’s taking a look to near out with a 54-hole lead for the 5th time in 8 tries in her occupation.
Korda is in search of her 2d victory this season, her 3rd in her final 9 begins. She’s No. 10 on the planet ratings however taking a look as though she’s in a position to make a run all of the approach to the highest this season.
Lee is looking for her 5th LPGA name, her 2d at Lotte within the final 3 seasons.
Ji, 32, is in pursuit of her 6th LPGA name.
“Everyone seems to be taking part in smartly out right here,” Korda stated. “We’re all going to be combating actually arduous for it.”
Rely Ariya Jutanugarn amongst that crew of contenders. The previous international No. 1 had the low around Friday with a 66 and is solely two pictures off the lead. She’s No. Three on the planet however unhappy along with her begin to the yr, with only one top-10 end amongst her seven begins.
“The previous few months, I am not trusting my selections,” Jutanugarn stated. “A large number of issues happening. These days, I am very trusting of my selections. The next day to come, I’m hoping I will be able to do it once more.”
Jutanugarn can slender the world-ranking hole on No. 1 Jin Younger Ko, who seems to be protected to carry the highest spot for but every other week, although Jutanugarn wins. Ko (70) is six pictures off the lead.
“It’s nonetheless a actually packed leaderboard,” stated Henderson, who’s taking a look to equivalent Sandra Put up’s 8 LPGA titles as maximum amongst Canadians. “Roughly all simply is dependent upon the wind. In point of fact, the rest can occur.”
Henderson and Korda have a historical past that is going as far back as their junior days.
“It’s beautiful cool,” Korda stated. “Gosh, I believe we have been each like 13 once we first began taking part in in combination. Yeah, it’s going to be a groovy flashback, last pairing, last day.”
“Just about each match I have performed along with her, we have been within the last teams in combination,” Henderson stated. “So, very acquainted there.”
Golfing will get a deal with in seeing how that competition emerges within the skilled ranks.