Green cards career-low 61, up 1 at LPGA event

Green cards career-low 61, up 1 at LPGA event
By: ESPN GOLF Posted On: March 30, 2024 View: 41

GILBERT, Ariz. -- Hannah Green birdied the final six holes for a career-low 11-under 61 on Friday in the LPGA Tour Ford Championship, giving her a one-shot lead going into the weekend.

Increased wind did little to slow the low scoring in the inaugural event at Seville Golf and Country Club, with 20 players shooting 67 or better and a cut line of 5 under -- tied for lowest in LPGA history.

Green set the standard at 14-under 130 after making 11 birdies, tied for second-most ever behind Annika Sorenstam's 13 during her historic 59 in 2001. Sarah Schmezel had a bogey-free 63 to match Peiyun Chien (65) at 13 under.

Azahara Munoz (68) and Hyo Joo Kim (67) were 12 under. Yuka Saso shot a bogey-free 63 that included two runs of four straight birdies. She was 11 under. Lydia Ko is tied with her and three others following a bogey-free 64.

Lexi Thompson moved into contention with a second-round 65. She was among 12 players at 10 under.

All the low scores left top-ranked Nelly Korda feeling a little left out, even if she's still within reach of the lead. She closed with a bogey to shoot 68 and was four back in her bid to become the first LPGA player to win three straight starts since Ariya Jutanugarn in 2016.

Korda had consecutive birdies after starting on the back nine and had two bogeys in three holes to turn in 1-under 35. She had two birdies and eagled the par-5 fifth, but dropped a shot on the long par-4 ninth when the remnants of a dust devil knocked her approach shot short left and she couldn't get up and down.

Green had no trouble going low.

The 27-year-old Australian started the day six shots back and immediately started racing up the leaderboard.

Green shot 4-under 32 on the front nine, added a birdie on No. 10 and closed with a flourish to shoot 29 on the back. The 2019 Women's PGA Championship winner missed the cut at the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship last week, but won the HSBC World Championship in Singapore three weeks ago.

Jennifer Song had a hole-in-one the 160-yard 14th, but missed the cut at 4 under.

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