“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.