April 28, 2018: Aditi Ashok produced a battling 71 on Friday to move up the leaderboard of the LPGA Mediheal Championship. The Indian was two under 34 through the front nine, before coming home in 37 strokes. Aditi shot five birdies and four bogeys on the Daly City course in California.
Waywardness off the tee cost Aditi dear, on a day when she made just 8 of 14 fairways. Despite making only 11 of 18 greens in regulation, Aditi scrambled well, taking an efficient 26 putts.
For the second time this season, Jessica Korda is atop the leaderboard on the LPGA Tour. The 25-year-old is in the midst of her career best season, with three top 10s and a victory in her first six starts. Friday, she put herself in position to pick up her second win of the year at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship.
Korda broke out of a five-way tie at the top after day one by posting a second round 5-under par, 67 to take a one-stroke lead into the weekend. Annie Park sits one back at 8-under par and Charley Hull is solo third at 7-under par.
“I knew I was going to get certain bounces that weren’t going to be super favorable as the greens got firmer during the afternoon,” Korda said after her round. “Just stayed patient and stayed with my process and here we are.”
That process earned her five birdies in her first 10 holes. She dropped her only shot of the day at the par 4, 11th hole but still managed to make it around in 26 putts. Korda is currently ranked third on Tour in putting average and leads the Tour in scoring average at 68.850
Friday’s round is just the latest in what has been an incredible start to the year for Korda, who won the Honda LPGA Thailand for her fifth career win on Tour. What she has achieved this season has been all the more impressive given the struggles she endured over the last nine months. She was forced to withdraw from the Solheim Cup due to an arm injury, and during the off season she underwent extensive jaw surgery that sidelined her for months. But she came back and won in her first start back and has only continued to impress.
Friday, Park, who Monday qualified for this week’s event, posted the low round of the Tournament with a 6-under par, 66 with seven birdies and one bogey. Park went out in the morning wave and jumped out to as much as a four-stroke lead at 8-under par before the afternoon wave began their round. It was a nearly flawless day for the 2016 rookie who missed only one fairway and had just 26 putts.
“I was hitting it very well today and some putts were dropping,” Park said after her round. “It was a good day overall.”
Park is making her first start of 2018 this week at Lake Merced.
The cut line fell at 2-over par, which sent home several notables including Stacy Lewis (+4) who revealed earlier this week that she is pregnant with her first child. Other players who failed to make the cut include Paula Creamer (+5), Marina Alex (+6) and Pernilla Lindberg (+8).