Nelly Korda is quickly showing that she belongs on the LPGA Tour.
In just her third round as a Tour rookie, Korda fired a 10-under-par 63 on Saturday, tying Stacy Lewis for the low round of the day in the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.
Lewis was tied with Lexi Thompson for the lead at 23-under 196, one shot off the tour 54-hole record for relation to par set by Annika Sorenstam in the 2003 Mizuno Classic.
Korda started the day tied for 32nd, but her low round propelled her all the way into a tie for sixth at 15-under 204.
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“I’m so happy to be out here. It’s been my dream,” Korda said. “I was definitely nervous my first day and my first nine holes, and I’m glad I kind of got those nerves out of the way, and now I can play some golf.”
Korda’s older sister, Jessica, shot a 1-under 72 and is tied for 52nd place at 6-under 213.
Lewis had two back-nine eagles in her round to catch Thompson for the lead.
“That was probably the best round I think I’ve ever shot on tour in relation to par, so just a cool day,” Lewis said. “I didn’t exactly hit it perfect, got away with a few shots, but just took advantage of it. I didn’t even know what I shot there at the end of the day.”
Lewis was second in the event in 2014 and tied for second last year, one of her 11 runner-up finishes since her last victory in June 2014.
Lewis holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-5 11th, birdied the next two, and dropped a stroke on the par-4 14th. She birdied the par-3 17th and made a 12-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th.
“I knew I needed to be aggressive out there today, and it wasn’t pretty at times, wasn’t perfect, but the scorecard turned out great,” Lewis said. “You’ve just got to take advantage. When those miss-hits work out good, you take advantage of it, and that’s what I did today.”
Thompson followed her tournament-record 61 on Friday with a 66 in calm conditions. She birdied the final four holes on the front nine and added two more on 14 and 15.
“Coming out here with no wind, it’s just you have to make a lot of birdies to make a move on anybody,” Thompson said. “I shot 7 under and I’m tied, so it’s crazy, but we will see what tomorrow will bring.”