Lilia Vu, Nelly Korda, LPGA stars shine at inaugural Ford Championship

One of the well-known crucial ideal stars on the LGPA Tour are radiant brighter than the Arizona solar to this level on the inaugural Ford Championship.

Taking assign of abode at Seville Golf and Country Club initiate air of Phoenix, Pajaree Anannarukarn fired a bogey-free 63 and leads by herself at 9-beneath.

But one stroke in the help of is Lilia Vu, who, cherish Wyndham Clark, continues to fight by map of a help bother. And yet, Vu persevered and sits in a tie for 2d with four others, including Australian Gabriela Ruffels and Solheim Cup hero Carlota Ciganda.

“I roar I did beautiful successfully. I’ve been convalescing from a help bother, and my simplest goal this day used to be to hit the ball solid,” Vu mentioned.

“It’s been more or much less subtle the past couple of weeks ethical taking half in by map of bother and making an try to function contact with the golf ball. But this day, that used to be my simplest focus, and it change into out no doubt gargantuan.”

Lilia Vu, Ford Championship

Lilia Vu plays a shot throughout the fundamental round of the 2024 Ford Championship.
Picture by Christian Petersen/Getty Pictures

Vu, cherish Anannarukarn, made nine birdies on Thursday but chanced on the par-3 8th with a bogey.

“I roar I was no doubt inflamed to pull off pictures that I saw in my head,” Vu added.

“It’s been a whereas since I’ve been ready to hit a shot that I search, so I roar it used to be gargantuan relaxing to be cherish, okay, I will hit a nice minute device right here. It ends up per chance cherish 10 or 15 toes, and dawdle and take a see at and function it.”

The long-established UCLA Bruin hit 13-of-14 fairways and necessary simplest 24 putts, an attractive spectacular round brooding about her sick help.

Nelly Korda, in the period in-between, signed for a 6-beneath 66. Clearly, with Korda’s victory final week, she overtook Vu in the Rolex Girls’s Rankings. Korda now sits atop the rankings because the tip female participant in the arena.

“Performed beautiful successfully, but fully utterly different climate compared to that final week,” Korda mentioned.

Nelly Korda, LPGA, Ford Championship

Nelly Korda lines up a putt.
Picture by Christian Petersen/Getty Pictures

“I know Arizona has been getting a correct little bit of rain throughout the cold climate. I knew there would be low scores available, so I necessary to be aggressive.”

Blustery climate produced brutal stipulations at final week’s Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship, but that did now not pause Korda from prevailing in a playoff over Ryann O’Toole. As such, Korda has saved it light to this level this week. Closing week build a toll on the total self-discipline, each bodily and mentally.

“I took Monday off and then came out right here no doubt early on Tuesday and ethical more or much less received off the golf path and purchased out of right here by 11: 00 and gave myself the afternoon off,” Korda explained.

“Then, I had a day pro-am on Wednesday. I saved it beautiful light on the starting of the week, colorful I necessary leisure, and that used to be the ideal thing.”

Diversified contenders include Celine Boutier of France, American Alison Lee, and Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark.

Celine Boutier, Ford Championship

Celine Boutier on the 2024 Ford Championship.
Picture by Christian Petersen/Getty Pictures

Boutier, who had a outstanding 2023 season, shot a bogey-free 7-beneath 65, whereas Lee and Pedersen take a seat at 6-beneath.

“It used to be beautiful aloof this day. I positively felt cherish the scores were going to be low, so I ethical tried to take advantage of the percentages that I received,” Boutier explained.

“Especially the par-5s, which may well presumably well be basically reachable, so I no doubt feel cherish it used to be positively a gargantuan advantage to maintain a truly aloof day this day. I managed to get more than a few birdies, in insist that used to be beautiful relaxing.”

The climate for Friday calls for similar stipulations, with temperatures in the mid-80s and winds now not exceeding eight to 10 miles per hour. More low scores must emerge, and the celebrities will—in all likelihood—proceed to shine.

It’ll be a gargantuan weekend in the wasteland.

Jack Milko is a golf workers creator for SB Nation’s Playing By. Produce particular to test out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. It’s most likely you’ll educate him on Twitter @jack_milko as successfully.

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