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Nelly Korda leads Florida contingent into third round of Pelican Women’s Championship

Of the tournament’s players with state ties, eight advance, including Jessica Korda and Brittany Lincicome.
World No. 1 Nelly Korda finished Friday's second round of the Pelican Women's Championship two shots back of the leaders in a tie for fifth place.
World No. 1 Nelly Korda finished Friday's second round of the Pelican Women's Championship two shots back of the leaders in a tie for fifth place. [ BEN SOLOMON | Pelican Women’s Championship ]
Published Nov. 12
Updated Nov. 13

BELLEAIR — World No. 1 Nelly Korda shot 4-under 66 in the second round of the LPGA Tour’s Pelican Women’s Championship on Friday to sit two shots off the lead at 9-under 131.

“I was pretty comfortable,” Korda, a Bradenton native, said. “Had a really good group (with Danielle Kang and Yuka Saso). I think (Thursday) was just a little bit windier, so you had to think a little bit more about your shots going into the greens.”

Korda said her “solid hitting” was also a boost, as has been her consistency from the tee. Through 36 holes, Korda hit the green 31 of 36 times (86 percent). She also hit the fairway 26 of 28 times (93 percent).

“I’ve given myself some good looks,” said Korda, who trailed co-leaders Lexi Thompson and Jennifer Kupcho at Pelican Golf Club. “I’m very pleased with the way I’m playing heading into the weekend.”

Her older sister, Jessica, also made the cut of par 140, shooting 67 for a two-day total of 6-under 134.

Seminole native Brittany Lincicome shot 70 and was at 2-under 138, as was Plantation’s Lindy Duncan (66).

Also advancing: Fort Lauderdale native Jaye Marie Green (69-66—135), Tampa resident Brittany Altomare (67-69—136) and Orlando resident Jennifer Song (70-66—136).

Among those not making the cut were Tampa resident Elizabeth Szokol (73-70—143), University of Florida sophomore Maisie Filler (76-70—146) and Ocala’s Destiny Lawson (77-78—155).

Related: Tampa’s Clemmie Perry works to get more Black women, kids into golf

Another ace, another Lamborghini

Pavarisa Yoktuan had the perfect shot lined up on the par-3 12th — in the center of the two tee boxes 147 yards from the pin — and brought back her 8-iron, striking the middle of the ball and sending it over the water.

The ball arched about 91 feet before dropping a foot or so away from the pin, rolling at a slight curve and into the hole.

She danced and ran over to her caddie, Yanisa Saripan, before high-fiving playing partners Linnea Strom and Jing Yan.

“It was so nice,” Yoktuan said. “I’m not going to say it’s my day (3-under 67, 5-under 135 total), but it made my day.”

This week, any player who makes a hole-in-one on No. 12 receives a two-year lease on a new Lamborghini, color of their choice. If they forgo the car, they receive an unspecified cash prize.

Yoktuan’s shot was her seventh hole-in-one, the fifth in competition. Her previous biggest prize for one was $3,000 in Thailand last year.

In Monday’s pro-am, Austin Ernst had the same luck on No. 12. On Friday, she drove a Lamborghini for the first time around the Pelican Golf Club’s parking lot.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.

LPGA Pelican Women’s Championship

When: Through Sunday

Where: Pelican Golf Club, Belleair

Purse: $1.75 million

History: Sei Young Kim won the inaugural tournament last year.

Players to watch: World No. 1 Nelly Korda, Jin Young Ko (2), Sei Young Kim (4), Lydia Ko(5), Yuka Saso (6), Nasa Hataoka (8), Brooke Henderson (10), Danielle Kang (11), Patty Tavatanakit (12), Lexi Thompson (13).

Coverage: Livestream, 1-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, nbcsports.com. Taped, 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Golf Channel.

Tickets: pelicanlpga.com/tickets