Jessica Korda fires 62, cruises to four-shot lead in Thailand

CHONBURI, THAILAND - FEBRUARY 23: Jessica Korda of United States smiles during the Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on February 23, 2018 in Chonburi, Thailand. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images) Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

Jessica Korda fires 62, cruises to four-shot lead in Thailand

LPGA Tour

Jessica Korda fires 62, cruises to four-shot lead in Thailand

Jessica Korda wasted no time in making a mark this season, dazzling in Thailand with a hot putter and a course-record 10-under 62 at Honda LPGA Thailand. After enduring a brutal recovery from jaw surgery over the offseason, Korda built a four-stroke lead at the midway point thanks to a 36-hole record 16-under 128. 

“I didn’t know it was happening,” said Korda who has a new caddie on the bag this week in veteran Colin Cann.

“I wasn’t really looking at the leaderboard or what I was at on the day, which is usually how these things happen. Honestly, we had fun out there and just let the birdies flow.”

Korda’s back-nine 29 included four consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-16 and an eagle on the closing par-5 18th. 

Brittany Lincicome, winner of the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, posted a 65 and and is in second place at 132. Lexi Thompson notched six birdies in an eight-hole stretch but dropped to six back after receiving a two-stroke penalty for moving a temporary immovable obstruction on No. 15.

Michelle Wie carded a 67 and is tied for fifth. 

“Feels like par is definitely not good enough, and sometimes birdies aren’t good enough,” said Wie. “Just trying to keep my head above water right now.”

Korda, a four-time LPGA winner, looks noticeably different, suffered from severe headaches, face cramps and sleep apnea due to a severe overbite that caused her to use only 20 percent of her teeth. She underwent jaw surgery on Dec. 7 in Charlotte, N.C.

Her top jaw was broken in three places and her bottom jaw in two. The road to recovery was taxing, causing her to miss the first two events of the season. The pain and the headaches are gone, but she still experiences numbness.

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