Chevron Championship: Nelly Korda one shot off lead at halfway

Thailand's Atthaya Thitikul plays a shot
Thitikul was the LPGA Rookie of the Year in 2022 [Getty Images]

Chevron Championship second round leaderboard

-8 JH Im (Kor), A Thitikul (Tha); -7 N Korda (US) -6 HR Ryu (Kor); -5 S Bang (Kor), W Zhang (Chn), M Stark (Swe) L Coughlin (US), M Katsu (Jpn).

Selected others: -4 J Ewart Shadoff (Eng), L Woad (Eng); -2 G Dryburgh (Sco); -1 S Meadow (NI), G Hall (Eng); +1 C Hull (Eng); +4 L Maguire (Ire)

Full leaderboard

Thailand's Atthaya Thitikul and South Korea's Im Jin Hee hold a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Chevron Championship, the first women's major of the season.

The pair lead American world number one Nelly Korda, who is bidding to win her fifth tournament in a row and second major title.

Korda had the clubhouse lead in Texas on seven under after a round of 69.

But late on, Thitikul and Im both shot 67s for eight-under totals.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Lottie Woad lead the English challenge on four under.

Korda, who began the day two shots behind leader Lauren Coughlin, had a dreadful start with a double bogey at her opening hole.

But she quickly recovered with birdies at the second and fourth, and although she dropped another shot at the seventh, four more birdies ensured she remained in contention.

The 25-year-old is attempting to become the first woman since Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) to win in five consecutive starts, and just the third in the history of the LPGA Tour, also matching Nancy Lopez (1978).

"Sometimes when you start to make mistakes you just don't really feel confident or you don't feel that great," she said.

"But I just told myself that it's the first hole of the tournament today. Even though I may have made a double, I wanted to save a bogey. There is still so much golf to be played and there is still a good bit of gettable par-5s, that's usually what I think about, just the opportunities that I have ahead."

Thitkul, 21, a two-time LPGA winner, who is playing in her first tournament of the year after a thumb injury, finished strongly with a birdie at the 18th while rookie Im, who had four wins on the Korean tour last year, led the field in putting in her round.

There were emotional scenes at the last hole when two-time major winner Ryu So-yeon of South Korea said her final farewell to the tour after missing the cut.

"I'm very numb now. I just cannot believe this is real. Nobody pushed me to retire. That was my decision. Still I just cannot believe this is real," said the 33-year-old.