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With the pressure off, Megan Khang is enjoying ‘The Ultimatum’ in Portland

As you might expect, after grinding through nearly 200 starts on the LPGA before earning her first victory last weekend in Vancouver at the CPKC Women’s Open, Megan Khang needed to exhale a bit this week while settling into her surroundings at the Portland Classic.

Khang is rooming with Nelly Korda, who surprised her friend with balloons at the house, but other than the original celebration, the Massachusetts product has laid low all week, sneaking in nightly episodes of the Netflix show “The Ultimatum.” The show, hosted by Nick Lachey and his wife Vanessa, is something of a social experiment, seeing how individuals react when being thrown into new situations.

If Khang is going through her own version of the show this week, learning how to play with an LPGA title under her belt, she’s certainly passing with flying colors.

On Friday, Khang fired her second straight 66 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club and she went to the clubhouse alone atop the leaderboard after 36 holes, poised to double her win total after finally opening the floodgates.

Khang closed the day with a bogey, her first of the tournament, but the round was still good enough to put her in prime position at the midway point. She coasted into the media tent after the round with the poise of a winner, although she insisted the final hole helped to keep her in check.

“Honestly I think it’s just I feel kind of mellowed out because I bogeyed the last hole. No one likes bogeying the last, but definitely gives you something more to work on,” she said. “It’s been kind of like a long week it feels like, but overall I think I’ve kind of just come to this week kind of going, hey, my game is in a good place. Mentally a little tired, but sometimes that can be a good thing. Just not over-exhausting myself out there and take it one shot at time and relax when I can out there. It’s a long week.”

Looking to go back-to-back

Last week’s winner @megan_khang1023 is currently T6 at the @PortlandClassic

Watch now on @GolfChannel!

— LPGA (@LPGA) August 31, 2023

Among those pushing Khang is Madelene Sagstrom, who missed the cut in four of her previous five starts. While Khang has posted consecutive rounds of 66, Sagstrom has back-to-back 67s and sits just two strokes behind the leader.

“I must say I just really haven’t made any mistakes. I’ve been keeping it in play. I haven’t really had my ‘A’ game coming in here. I’ve been struggling a little bit on the course,” Sagstrom said. “So we kind of set up a little different game plan this week. Just trying to hit the fairway however it gets there and just go more center of the green. I think that is more how I was playing last year and it seems to be working.

“Giving myself some good chances. Took them when I needed to. Really just haven’t made too many mistakes.”

As for Khang’s approach for the weekend, it’s about as exciting as social calendar this week.

“It’s going to sound like a broken record, fairways and greens, and we’ll see how the course dries out,” she said. “We’ll see where we stand and just kind of take it from there.”

And as for her new Netflix fix, why is she hooked?

“It’s so dramatic and it’s wicked funny,” she said.

Nelly Korda surprised Megan Khang after her first LPGA win (and now she’s shining in Portland)

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