“Just shaken off,” she said. “I knew there was a lot of golf out there.”
Also a lot of really good golf. The thrill started on her 11th hole, # 2, when she hooked a ball on the par-5 green and knocked out an eagle. After a par in third place, the birdies began to flow.
She rolled a 20-footer into the cup for a birdie at # 4, narrowly missed an eagle putt at # 5, drove the green and missed an eagle putt at # 6, threatened the hole at par-3 and made seventh a 5 foot birdie, made a long birdie putt at number 8, and finished the round by stiffening a wedge and hitting an 8 foot breaker left to right for birdie at number 9.
That’s 29 on the second nine.
“It’s nice when you’re in top form and everything is going well,” she said.
She was even Low Korda; older sister Jessica shot a 72 and is 3 under and in the race.
It’s hard to believe she missed the cut at the US Women’s Open three weeks ago, which led her to ask Caddy Jason McDede, “Have you ever seen me like this?” His answer, a concise “no”. That’s not an issue this week. Korda said she hasn’t felt so dialed in since 2019.
Korda’s magical round managed to overshadow the efforts of Salas, who had 5 to 10 holes on Friday and ended their round with eight consecutive pars for another 67. The veteran didn’t stray from her self-described “boring” schedule of hitting fairways and greens and stayed in position to win her first major championship.
“It’s a major, it’s supposed to be tough,” said Salas. “It’s supposed to test you in different ways and I think I can handle it just fine and successive 67s … I won’t complain.”
Almost forgotten after Korda’s lap, Boutiers was 64, who improved her 36 places in the overall standings. Duke University’s product – she was named National Player of the Year for helping the Blue Devils win the 2014 NCAA Championship – continued the momentum she built two weeks ago by finishing T5 in the Mediheal Championship, where she also had a 64.
Boutier found something on the driving range after her disappointing first lap 73, an afternoon of hooking her irons. The fix was obvious at the start of the round. From hole 10 she opened with a 32 and was 9 under before the lonely bogey of the day at number 8 forced her to be content with a 64.
“I shot 8 under two two weeks ago so I knew my game was ready,” said Boutier. “Just a small lack of confidence. This week I felt like I wasn’t going to score as well as I wanted, but I knew I might get fewer points, especially after yesterday. … Today I had a kind of mission to score a little lower. “
The highlight of their round was an eagle on the sixth par-4 hole, where the tees were pushed up and only played 229 yards. Boutier took the risk and pulled a 3-wood that she landed about six feet from the hole. She followed that up by hitting a hybrid in the seventh hole and doing a 15-foot for birdie.
The other top lap of the day belonged to Gabriela Ruffels, who entered the event with a special permit. The 21-year-old Australian played a bogey-free round, finishing with four consecutive birdies to score 7-under65.
Kim, the defending champion, recovered from a 76 opening to shoot 69 and make the cut with 1 over.
Riverdale’s Mariah Stackhouse shot a 70 on Friday, moved up 20 places and is level. Woodstock’s Jane Park bounced back from 81 on Thursday to shoot 71 but still missed the cut.