Jessica Korda shoots 7-under 64 to take LA Open lead

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Jessica Korda tees off at the first hole during the first round of the LPGA’s Hugel-Air Premia LA Open golf tournament at Wilshire Country Club Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jessica Korda birdied three of the final four holes for a 7-under 64 and a one-stroke lead Wednesday after the first round of the HUGEL Air Premia LA Open.

Korda had eight birdies and a bogey at Wilshire Country Club to match the tournament scoring record set by Megan Khang and Annie Park in 2019.

“This isn’t an easy golf course at all,” Korda said. “I was lucky to be able to position myself in the right spots off the tee and take advantage of the short putts that I did have for birdie.”

Korda won the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January for her sixth LPGA Tour title, and sister Nelly Korda followed with a victory a month later in the Gainbridge LPGA in the second event of the year.

“We’re not playing in Asia next two weeks,” Jessica Korda said. “Taking those three weeks off, and the summer is so busy. Just going to pace ourselves. Got some big events coming up that I would like to be prepared for, and that’s kind of what my team and I are concentrating on.”

Tiffany Chan and Moriya Jutanugarn were a stroke back. Chan played at Southern California.

“My goal was to try not to be too aggressive because it’s my home course so I know the course really well,” Chan said. “So, I still tried to be a little more conservative.”

Nelly Korda was two strokes back at 66 with Dana Finkelstein, Su Oh, Carlota Ciganda and Austin Ernst.

Michelle Wie West matched Lexi Thompson with a 70.

Lydia Ko opened with a 78, four days after winning the Lotte Championship in Hawaii at 28-under 260.

Patty Tavatanakit had a 75 in her first event since winning the ANA Inspiration for her first major and first LPGA Tour victory.

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