The last time the Atlanta Athletic Club hosted a major championship, Keegan Bradley shot a 64 in the second round and went on to win the PGA Championship. Nelly Korda was one shot better than that Friday and hopes to ride that same sort of momentum to the first major title of her career.

Korda shot a 9-under 63 on the Highlands Course, ending the day with a remarkable stretch of six consecutive birdies, and stands at 11-under 133 midway through the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek. The 63 tied a tournament record held by four others, most recently a year ago in the final round by winner Sei Young Kim.

First-round leader Lizette Salas posted her second consecutive 67 and is one shot behind. Celine Boutier of France had a 64 in the morning and jumped all the way into a tie for third at 7 under, where she is joined by Cydney Clanton, who eagled the 18th hole and shot 67, and Alena Sharp, who shot 68.

It was Korda’s career-best score in a major championship, but isn’t her best round of the year. Two weeks ago, she had 62 in the third round of the Meijer LPGA Classic and went on to victory. That was her second win of the season and put her in position to go back-to-back for the first time in her career. Consider, however, she doesn’t turn 23 until next month, and her toughest decision following the round was whether to have Panera or Chipotle for dinner.

Korda began the day with a bogey on her first hole, No. 10, but quickly got that back with a birdie and turned in 34.

“Just shook it off,” she said. “I knew there was a lot of golf out there.”

A lot of really good golf, too. The thrill ride began on her 11th hole, No. 2, when she hooked a ball on the green of the par-5 and lipped out an eagle. After a par at No. 3, the birdies began to flow.

She curled a 20-footer into the side of the cup for a birdie at No. 4, just missed an eagle putt at No. 5, drove the green and missed an eagle putt at No. 6, threatened the hole at the par-3 seventh and made a five-foot birdie, made a long birdie putt at No. 8, and finished the round by stiffing a wedge and knocking in a left-to-right 8-foot breaker for birdie at No. 9.

That’s 29 on the second nine.

“It’s nice when you’re on top of your game and everything is going well,” she said.

She was even Low Korda; older sister Jessica shot a 72 and is 3 under and in contention.

Hard to believe she missed the cut three weeks ago at the U.S. Women’s Open, causing her to ask caddie Jason McDede, “Have you ever seen me like this?” His answer, a succinct, “Nope.” That’s not an issue this week. Korda said she hasn’t felt this dialed-in since 2019.

Korda’s magical round managed to overshadow the effort of Salas, who was 5 under through 10 holes Friday and finished her round with eight consecutive pars for another 67. The veteran did not deviate from her self-described “boring” game plan of hitting fairways and greens and remained in position to win her first major championship.

“It’s a major, it’s supposed to be tough,” Salas said. “It’s supposed to test you in several different ways and I think I’m handling it quite well and back-to-back 67s … I’m not going to complain.”

Nearly forgotten in the wake of Korda’s round was Boutier’s 64, which boosted her 36 spots in the standings. The Duke University product – she was national player of the year in helping the Blue Devils win the 2014 NCAA championship – continued the momentum she built two weeks ago by finishing T5 at the Mediheal Championship, where she also had a 64.

Boutier found something on the driving range after her disappointing first-round 73, an afternoon spent hooking her irons. The fix was evident from the start of the round. Beginning on the 10th hole, she opened with a 32 and was 9 under before the day’s lone bogey at No. 8 forced her to settle for a 64.

“I shot 8 under two weeks ago, so I knew my game was ready,” Boutier said. “Just a little lack of confidence. This week I felt like I wasn’t hitting as well as I wanted, but I knew that I could score lower, especially after yesterday. … I was kind of on a mission today to score a little bit lower.”

The highlight of her round was an eagle on the par-4 sixth hole, where the tees were pushed up and was playing only 229 yards. Boutier opted to take the risk and pulled a 3-wood, which she landed about six feet from the hole. She followed that hitting a hybrid into the seventh hole and making a 15-footer for birdie.

The day’s other top round belonged to Gabriela Ruffels, who got into the event on a special exemption. The 21-year-old Australian played a bogey-free round and closed with four consecutive birdies to shoot 7-under 65.

Kim, the defending champion, bounced back from an opening 76 to shoot 69 and make the cut at 1 over.

Riverdale’s Mariah Stackhouse shot a 70 on Friday, moved up 20 spots, and is at even par. Woodstock’s Jane Park recovered from Thursday’s 81 to shoot 71, but still missed the cut.