BELLEAIR, Fla. – Women's British Open winner Sophia Popov left top-ranked playing partner Jin Young Ko and everyone else behind Thursday in the Pelican Women’s Championship.Popov shot a 6-under 64 in windy conditions to take a two-stroke lead over Ashleigh Buhai, with Ko eight shots behind after a 72 in her first LPGA Tour start of the year.Popov was the surprise winner at Royal Troon in August.“I think I’m playing with a different confidence level,” Popov said. “You know, the shots are there.
I always had them I felt like. I think mentally I’ve never felt as freed up as I do now. I don’t know if that’s from winning the tournament or just overall just having more fun out here.