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Madsen takes two-shot lead at LPGA Classic

Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen fired a five-under-par 67 on Friday to assume a two-shot lead at the JTBC Classic in Carlsbad.

Madsen, who opened with four birdies on the first five holes, sits at 11-under 133 through 36 holes at Aviara Golf Club.

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko (67), who won the event in 2016, and South Korea’s Hye-Jin Choi (68) are tied second at nine under.

First-round leader Jin Young Ko of South Korea shot one-under 71 to drop to a fourth-place tie at eight under.

Madsen, who fought off two bogeys on the day, said her win at the Honda LPGA Thailand two weeks ago was a confidence booster.

“Yeah, I figured out this year. I haven’t figured out the other years,” Madsen said. “I’m definitely playing better this year than I’ve done previous years I played.

“I have confidence out there winning like two weeks ago. Yeah, making a lot of good putts and hitting a lot of greens.”

South Korean Na Rin An (67) and Canadian Maude-Aimee Leblanc (68) are tied with in fourth with Jin Young Ko, who got off to a sluggish start.

She carded back-to-back bogeys at Nos.2 and 3 before righting herself with three birdies the rest of the round.

“I don’t know what happened, but (the) greens are a little tricky to me so I missed a lot of putts, so (that’s) the reason why I couldn’t (score in the) 60s today,” Jin Young Ko said.

Defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea is one of seven players tied for ninth place at five under.

Australia’s Minjee Lee (71) is tied 16th on four under. She is two shots ahead of compatriots Hannah Green and young Stephanie Kyriacou, who shot matching second-round 69s.

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