When the all cards were signed after the second round and everybody was in the clubhouse the Americans were dominating the top of the leaderboard at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Jessica Korda had a terrific second round, moving up from her 3rd place start to the top of the board. So did Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, and Jenny Suh, a Monday qualifier for the tournament. The quartet took turns birdieing their way up the leaderboard, sinking putts on greens that mystified yesterday but were friendly to all of them today, leaving first round pacesetters Lydia Ko and Meena Lee to struggle with increasingly windy afternoon playing conditions.
Jenny Suh, who’s Rolex Ranked 519, got a taste of life at the top of the board today. Starting her third year on the LPGA Tour, Suh has played without a win or a top-10 finish. That could change this weekend at the Pure Silk-Bahamas. With her boyfriend on the bag, Suh took the lead early in the round, shot a flawless 66, and went to the clubhouse at 9 under par while Korda, Creamer and Wie were still on the course and Ko and Lee were still warming up.
Playing together, 2013 Solheim Cup teammates Jessica Korda and Paula Creamer seemed to be urging each other on through the entire round. Creamer, who’s Rolex Ranked No 13, started badly with a double bogey, then quickly established her pace and fired off 10 birdies for a final 2nd round score of 65, putting her in the clubhouse at -10 and in the 2nd spot on the board.
We went from beautiful, sunny, slight wind to cloudy and hurricane wind. It was a tough day out there. . . you really had to put everything into every shot. Paula kept pushing me because she kept making birdies, so I felt like I needed to keep making birdies, too.
Jessica Korda, Leading Going Into 3rd Round
Korda, who changed swing coaches two weeks ago, played beautifully, following up on her first round score of 69 with a 66 for her 2nd round, putting her on the top of the board and leading Creamer, her playing partner for the last two days, by one shot.
Wie may have finally gotten her flat stick warmed up. If that’s the case, look out girls! Her 2nd round was a bogey-free 65. Despite a five-week break from playing golf this offseason– even leaving her golf clubs back at her house in Florida during a trip home to Hawaii – Wie didn’t seem to have lost a beat with her golf swing. And it appears that Wie’s revamped putting style is likely here to stay as she needed just 28 putts during her bogey-free round.
First round co-leader, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, ran into a bit of bogey trouble during the first 9, then settled down, made her accommodations to the wind, and finished with a respectable 70 on her card. Still, that score sent Ko tumbling down the board to a share of 5th place, where she’s keeping company with Netherlands’ Christel Beoljon, South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi, and Thailand’s PK Kongkraphan, all at -8 for the tournament. They’ll start the 3rd round 3 shots off the lead.
Stacy Lewis, the top-ranked golfer in the field, lingered below the top of the board. Lewis carded 69 yesterday and 71 today and will start the 3rd round 5 shots off the lead, alongside Germany’s Sandra Gal, Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum, and South Korea’s Amy Yang.
Early first round leader, Wales’ Becky Morgan, simply couldn’t find the game today that she brought to the first tee yesterday. With 8 bogeys and an 80 on her card, Morgan missed the cut. So did Spaniard Beatriz Recari and defending champion, South Korean Ilhee Lee. But Lexi Thompson, the fast car loving American teen, inched by the cut at even par for the tournament, as did Danish rookie Line Vedel, who will start the 3rd round at +1.
Jessica Korda will be the one to catch on Saturday. She and Creamer are paired for the 3rd round with the final tee time, 12:40pm ET.
The field will play in conditions that are again changed — light winds and temperatures in the high 60s are forecast.
Golf Channel coverage for the 3rd round of the Pure Silk-Bahamas begins at 3pm ET on Saturday and at the same time for the final round on Sunday, and I’ll provide my usual daily wrap-up of the round as well.