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Korda leads Mobile Bay, but Michaels sets course record

The SportsXchange

MOBILE, Ala. -- Karrie Webb was just trying to keep up during the second round of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic on Friday.

Not necessarily with Sydnee Michaels, who broke the course record by two shots at Magnolia Grove, but with long-hitting playing partner Jessica Korda.

Webb managed to stay with them. She trails Korda, the 36-hole leader, in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic by one shot after 36 holes. Korda, a 20-year-old from Bradenton, Fla., shot a 7-under 65 in the afternoon and was at 13-under 131.

Webb fired a 9-under 63 -- a score that would have broken the course record had not Michaels beat her to it in the morning.

"When you're playing with Jess and Brittany (Lincicome)," Webb said, "if I hit a really good one, I'm 20 yards behind them. In certain parts of the golf course where they can carry parts that I can't, I'm 40 yards behind them. So I'm the little short one out there trying to keep up with the big girls."

Michaels carded eight birdies and an eagle to eclipse the course record by two strokes with a 10-under 62. She is at 10 under for the tournament.

Michaels had missed four straight cuts. Her best previous LPGA round was 7 under.

"It feels so good to finally have a good round because I've been struggling the last few weeks and going through some swing changes," Michaels said. "And the week off last week, I just said, 'You know what? I'm just going to go back to what feels good.' So I hit a lot of balls and just kind of got back to where I was feeling good over the ball again. So it feels good to finally have a good round."

Korda got a shock on the first hole.

"We give Webby a hard time," Korda said. "She did outdrive me on the first hole today, and she's like, 'What's going on?' And I'm like, 'Did you work out last night?'"

Korda's seven-birdie round came without a missed fairway. She played the four par-5 holes in 3 under. All of her birdies have come on par-4 and par-5 holes the first two days.

Korda was playing in her first tournament since injuring her wrist in the LPGA Lotte Championship on April 20.

"Honestly, right now it's Friday," Korda said, "so I think the tournament starts on the back nine on Sunday. So right now, it's great to have the lead, and I feel good. I'm healthy, somewhat, so I'm happy just to be here and playing right now."

Webb stood at 1 over with six holes to go on Thursday. She was 4 under on the final six holes in the first round and 4 under on the final five holes on Friday.

"I'm not sure the last time I had a bogey-free round," Webb said, "so I'm really happy about that. That's sort of been my problem. I have bogeys at the wrong time, and it really kills my momentum.

"That's what happened yesterday. I turned at 2 under and then doubled (No.) 1 and bogeyed 2, and all of a sudden I'm at 1 over. I just was really happy to fight back yesterday to finish at 3 under, and I think that really carried over into today."

Six players are at 10 under or better after two rounds..

Chella Choi stands at 11 under. Two golfers from Thailand -- Pornanong Phatlum and Thidapa Suwannapura -- were tied with Michaels at 10 under.

"My shot is really good and my distance is better than last year," said Choi, a Korean who likes playing in Mobile because she can drive from her home in Jacksonville, Fla. "I tried very hard on my putting because it's 80 percent putting, 20 percent shots. My shots are the same, but my putting is much better than before.

"I don't make a lot of putts (in the previous) couple of tournaments. But today and yesterday, really good -- my putting. My confidence is better."

First-round co-leader Lexi Thompson is at 9 under after a second-round 70 that included an eagle on the par-5 16th. Also at 9 under are Azahara Munoz, Ariya Jutanugarn and Mina Harigae.

Munoz holed out from the 18th fairway for an eagle on her way to an 8-under 64.

Jutanugarn, a 17-year-old playing on a sponsor exemption, has not finished worse than fourth in her four LPGA outings and had a 6-under 66.

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