Kang having fun and leading the way at first event

World No. 5 Danielle Kang has been flawless at the Tournament of Champions. The American shot a six-under 65 on Friday to go with her opening round 64 and has not made a bogey in 36 holes at the LPGA Tour's season opener at Four Seasons Golf & Sports
World No. 5 Danielle Kang has been flawless at the Tournament of Champions. The American shot a six-under 65 on Friday to go with her opening round 64 and has not made a bogey in 36 holes at the LPGA Tour's season opener at Four Seasons Golf & Sports Club in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MIAMI • With two bogey-free rounds behind her, Danielle Kang is looking forward, not back, at the 2021 season-opening LPGA Tournament of Champions.

The world No. 5 American birdied six holes on Friday on her way to a second-round six-under 65 and extended her lead to two strokes over Nelly Korda at Four Seasons Golf & Sports Club in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The 28-year-old, who is seeking her sixth career LPGA title, shot a 64 in the first round on Thursday and is on 13-under 129. "I haven't really thought about (my goals for the next rounds). I had a lot of fun out there today and made some good birdies," she said.

"This golf course is kind of sneaky tough at the same time, so I just can't lose focus on certain shots. Three-putts are out there, too, which is scary.

"But I'm having a lot of fun."

Kang birdied her first hole of the day on Friday, and split her six birdies evenly between the front and back nine.

Fourth-ranked Korda, who started the second round in a three-way tie for second, birdied two holes on the front but bogeyed No. 6. She rallied for four birdies on the back nine to finish with a 66, one day after she shot 65 in the first round.

"I played well on the back nine," said the American, who is now in sole possession of second place.

"Been struggling a little bit more on the front nine. Haven't been making as many birdies. I had a lot of opportunities, didn't convert them. Other than that, I'm really happy with my round."

Defending champion Gaby Lopez of Mexico started the day sharing second place but shot 68 and sits at 133.

She is tied for third place with South Korean Chun In-gee (65). Jessica Korda, sister of Nelly, carded a 69 and dropped from second to fifth on 134.

American Cheyenne Knight (66) is in sixth on 135. Canada's Brooke Henderson (69) and Americans Lexi Thompson (69) and Angela Stanford (69) are tied for seventh at 136.

The 71st LPGA season-opener featured winners from the past three seasons, those in 2018 added because of the depleted number of tournaments played last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS


TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

Day 4: Ch204, tomorrow, 3am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 24, 2021, with the headline 'Kang having fun and leading the way at first event'. Subscribe