Kang takes 2-up lead at Women’s Amateur
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The birdiefest began early Sunday morning at Charlotte Country Club, cooling down as the morning wore on and the heat and humidity picked up. Jessica Korda and Danielle Kang combined to record six birdies into the opening nine holes of the 36-hole final at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, and Kang broke for lunch with a 2-up advantage.
The pair of 17-year-olds raced out of the gate with birdies at the opening hole, before Kang dropped another at the par-4 second. Korda answered with a birdie at the par-3 third, and Kang continued the seesaw at the next hole.
Despite matching Kang with five total birdies, Korda spent most of the morning 18 chasing the Pepperdine sophomore. Kang was 2 up at the turn, and each time Korda would win a hole, Kang would come back with a birdie or clutch par to keep her 2-up advantage.
On the back nine, Korda’s putter looked uncharacteristically cool, especially since the flatstick has been her calling card this week, as she’s been able to drop crucial par putts for halves and long birdie bombs to crush a string of opponents that included Stephanie Kono, Candace Schepperle and Lisa McCloskey. As Korda reasoned after her 4-and-3 semifinal win against Stephanie Sherlock – a match in which she lost the first hole – she has been down at the beginning of most of her matches this week and managed to come back. An early deficit doesn’t mean much for this Curtis Cupper.
As for Kang, she’s not showing signs of pressure yet, either, as she keeps her smile despite a make or a miss.
Of course, much golf remains to be played.