Sagstrom shares LPGA lead with Zhang but Korda lurks

Madelene Sagstrom of <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Sweden;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Sweden</a> has a share of the lead at the LPGA's Founders Cup after her round of 66 brought her level with American Rose Zhang. (Mike Stobe)

Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom shot a six under-par round of 66 in cold and wet conditions to grab a share of the lead at the LPGA Founders Cup with American Rose Zhang.

World number one Nelly Korda put herself in contention for a record-breaking weekend, however, matching Sagstrom's 66 with a bogey free round leaving her four shots behind the leaders.

The 25-year-old Korda equalled Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez for the all-time record win streak of five in five starts by taking last month's Chevron Championship.

The rain made for tricky conditions at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey, particularly in the wet, deep rough.

However, Sagstrom evaded much of the worst weather and was in exceptional form, reaching the turn five-under for her round.

She came unstuck with a double bogey on the 10th, but after a birdie at the next hole she eagled the par-5 12th before her eventful stretch saw her bogey the par-4 13th.

But it was an outstanding score in such tough weather and the Swede was delighted with her performance.

"I grinded hard. I made a big mistake on 10 by leaving it in the fairway bunker. Trying not to hit it fat in the water meant I thinned it into the lip -- not great," she said.

"It's one of those like you're going to make mistakes. It was just a bit unfortunate happening when I was having momentum," she said.

The 31-year-old Swede, who played college golf at Louisiana State University, has been on the LPGA Tour since 2016 but has just one win on the circuit.

But while the pressure is on with Korda lurking and pushing for her record sixth consecutive win, Sagstrom is ready for the pressure.

"This the position everyone wants to be in. You want to be up on the leaderboard. You want to play against the best players. You want your game to be the best every week. If not, be considered one of the best players in the world," she said.

"These are the reasons I play. This is what everyone is trying to do. It's a good position to be in," she added.

Zhang held a two stroke lead after her first round 63 and was solid again with a four-under 68 marred only by a bogey on the par-4 16th.

- Taking it in -

The 20-year-old Zhang's only win on the LPGA came in New Jersey, where she won the Mizuho Americas Open in Jersey City in her first LPGA start as a professional last June.

"The next two days it's really just me trying to stay as composed as possible. I'm really enjoying it and for the most part I think there is always learning curves. So no matter what happens the next two days I'm going to take it all in," she said.

Korda began perfectly with birdies on the opening two holes setting the tone for her round which ended with a birdie on the 18th.

The American said she is looking forward to trying to overhaul the leading pair rather than having a lead to defend.

"Definitely more pressure on you when everyone is trying to get you, and there is something fun about trying to catch the leaders," she said.

"They're both very different. I'm just going to stay in my bubble. This golf course is already hard enough, so not going to put that much pressure on myself trying to catch them. Wherever I can take advantage I will and see how it goes," she added.

China's Liu Yan was three shots behind Korda after shooting 70 and England's Mel Reid was a further stroke back.