World number one Nelly Korda seized control of the women’s Olympic golf tournament with a second-round 62 at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Korda carded nine birdies and an eagle in the first 17 holes, and stood on the 18th tee with the chance of becoming the first player to score under 60 at the Olympics.
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However, the United States star finished with a double-bogey six on the final hole to become only the second woman to record a round of 62 in Olympic competition.
Korda will start Friday’s third round with a four-shot lead from a group of three players who are tied on nine under-par.
Danish pair Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Emily Kristine Pedersen shot rounds of seven-under and eight-under respectively to leave them tied with India’s Aditi Ashok on nine-under for the tournament.
Madelene Sagstrom, who led following the first round, is a shot further back after she carded a three-under-par round of 66 on Thursday.
Great Britain’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff also shot a second-round 66 but that was only good enough to take her back to level par, and into a share of 34th.
Her compatriot Mel Reid, meanwhile, carded six bogeys during a round of 75 to leave herself at six-over and in a tie for 54th.
Morocco’s Maha Haddioui enjoyed arguably the moment of the day when she hit a hole-in-one on the par-three seventh. But she carded a three-over 74 after finishing with a double-bogey on the 18th.
Korda, whose sister Jessica is also well placed on four under following a second-round 67, is undoubtedly the player to beat following a sensational round in Saitama.
The 23-year-old parred each of her first four holes of the day before a birdie on the par-5 fifth kick-started a sensational round.
Korda then eagled the par-four sixth as she picked up 11 shots in just 13 holes from the fifth.
A par on the 18th would have given Korda a round of 60, while a birdie would have made her the first player to hit a sub-60 round at the Olympics.
However, the American hit her third shot into a greenside bunker and had to settle for a double-bogey six, the only blemish on an otherwise perfect card.
With her 62 Korda equalled the previous lowest score at the women’s Olympic tournament, achieved by Maria Verchenova in the final round at Rio 2016.
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