Jessica Korda in a three way tie for lead in VOA Classic

A second straight 69 helped Jessica Korda join Anna Nordqvist and Yealimi Noh, sharing the lead in the Volunteers of America Classic

101
Jessica Korda - Getty Images - LPGA

Jessica Korda was prepared for another bone-chilling round at Old American Golf Club. Maybe, a bit too prepared.

“My immediate regret when I was on the front nine my kneecaps started to sweat and I didn’t have pants I could take off,” Korda said. “What a beautiful day today was. I know it was really cold this morning, but way less wind than we could have imagined having, so spectacular day.”

At the end of the day Friday, the 27-year-old Floridian had a share of the lead in the Volunteers of America Classic with Anna Nordqvist and 19-year-old Yealimi Noh

After the temperature never made it out of the 40s on Thursday, it was in the high 50s on Friday in the final tune-up before the U.S. Women’s Open next week at Champions Golf Club in Houston.

“I kept telling my caddie,`Today would have been so nice to go on a hike with your dog, a cup of coffee, say how grateful you are for everything in your life,'” Korda said.

Korda shot her second straight 2-under 69. The five-time LPGA Tour winner played the first 12 holes in 4 under, then dropped a stroke on the par-5 13th and parred the final five.

“It was tough,” Korda said. “Front-nine pins, they were pretty gettable. Back-nine pins, it was just defense all day. It didn’t matter where I put myself. Honestly, I was trying to attack it at different angles. I’m happy with my ball-striking. Honestly, I don’t know what else I could have done.”

Nordqvist closed with a bogey on the par-4 18th for a 68. The 33-year-old Swede made all of her birdies on par-4 holes. She parred the four par-5 holes.

“I’m excited that I played really solid today and that it was a little bit warmer today than yesterday,” Nordqvist said. “But overall I felt like I played really solid. There were a lot of tough pin placements out there.”

Noh, the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior winner, had the best round of the week with a 66. She had six birdies — four in a row on Nos. 17-2 — and a bogey.

“I feel really good about how I’m hitting it,” Noh said. “Just hit a lot of greens today and made a couple up-and-downs.”

Lindsey Weaver was a stroke behind the leaders after a 68.

Top-ranked Jin Young Ko was 2 under with Inbee Park, Madelene Sagstrom, Angela Stanford and Pornanong Phatlum.

Ko had five birdies and three bogeys in a 69. She tied for 34th two weeks ago in her first LPGA Tour event of the year.

“Yesterday was chilly and then a lot of wind, but today was just calm and sunny, so big difference,” Ko said. “I got maybe hybrid some holes, but today 8- or 7-irons, so it was easier.”

Sagstrom closed birdie-eagle for a 69, holing out from 70 yards with a 58-degree wedge on 18.

“I got a really good number on 18, and I was like, `OK, I can be aggressive here,” Sagstrom said. “I hit a little bit past it and I was like, `OK, spin back.? And it started spinning back and my caddie, Jack, he was like, `Go in! Go in!. And it just disappeared.”

The Swede was bundled up for the morning round.

“I really packed on clothes today and I did better,” Sagstrom said. “But now I’m really, really hot.”

Park, the 2013 and 2018 winner, shot 68. Stanford had a 69, and Phatlum a 71.

First-round leader Charley Hull followed her opening 68 with a 74 to drop into a tie for 14th at even par. She played a six-hole stretch in 5 over, making three bogeys and a double bogey.

Defending champion Cheyenne Knight was 2 over after a 73.

So Yeon Ryu also was 2 over after her second 72 in her first U.S. event on the LPGA Tour since the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship last year.

Jeongeun Lee6, the defending Women’s Open champion, was 4 over after two 73s.

The cut was at 8 over.