__CHARLOTTE--After seven rounds of golf over the past six days in 90-plus degree heat and sweltering humidity at the U.S. Women's Amateur, you'd wonder how much energy finalists__Danielle Kang and Jessica Korda might still have for today's 36-hole championship match at Charlotte CC.
The answer is quite a bit, thank you.
Kang shot the equivalent of four under par, making five birdies, to take a 2-up lead on Korda, who was three under on her ball, at the end of the morning 18.
The quality of golf, played under partly cloudy skies with temperatures slowing reaching the 90s again, was strong from the opening hole. Kang, after hitting her approach shot from a fairway bunker to 10 feet, rolled in the birdie putt on the first hle only to see Korda make a six-foot birdie on top of her to halve the hole.
While Kang won the second hole with a birdie from six feet, Korda countered with a 15-foot birdie on the third to square the match.
Kang then proceeded to hit her second shot on the par-5 fourth to eight feet, winning with a conceded birdie to take a lead she maintained the rest of the morning.
Three times Kang increased the lead to 2 up, the last coming on the 16th hole when she rolled in a 15-footer for birdie, her longest birdie putt of the morning.
Korda's putting has been the catalyst to a stellar week of play, but she missed two costly putts inside five feet. On the ninth hole, Korda had a five footer for birdie that would have won the hole, but lipped out left, rolling six feet away. (She made the par save to halve the hole.)
Then on the 13th, Korda ran a 40-plus-foot birdie try 2 1/2 feet above and past the hole. She then lipped out the par save to record her second bogey of the day.