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Turns Out, Golf Superstar Nelly Korda Is Human After All
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 2 weeks ago on
May 30, 2024

Nelly Korda chips to the 10th green during the first round of the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament at Lancaster Country Club, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in Lancaster, Pa. (AP/Matt Slocum)

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LANCASTER — Nelly Korda took a 10 on her third hole of the U.S. Women’s Open on Thursday when she hit three short-game shots into the stream in front of the par-3 12th green.

It was a devastating start for the No. 1 player in women’s golf at Lancaster Country Club, a course that already was playing difficult enough that birdies were hard to find.

Korda walked off the green and removed her visor, placing her hand over her forehead for a few seconds before walking over to the next tee. A video crew kept the camera fixed on the walking scorer as “+1” was changed to a “+8″ next to her name.

It didn’t get much better from there.

“Making a 10 on a par 3 will definitely not do you any good at a U.S. Open,” Korda said when her nightmare start to the biggest championship in women’s golf ended with an 80.

“Just a bad day in the office.”

Korda came into the U.S. Women’s Open as an overwhelming favorite, with six victories in her last seven tournaments, including a major that tied an LPGA record for five wins in a row.

That’s what made the most imperfect 10 so shocking.

The Problematic 12th Hole

The 12th hole — Korda started her round on No. 10 — had the markings of a problem. It measures 161 yards down the hill to a green that slopes from back to front and has a stream in front of it. The pin was at the front, where the green pitches more severely toward the water.

When Korda’s group reached the hole, there were two other groups on the tee waiting to play.

Her tee shot bounced over the green into a bunker. Korda splashed it out of the sand with too much pace, and it rolled past the pin and kept going down the slope into the water. She took a penalty drop on the other side of the stream and hit a low pitch that hit the bank and rolled back into the water.

She took another penalty drop. Her next pitch flew to the front of the green, and rolled back again into the water. Korda dropped into a crouch, stunned by a U.S. Women’s Open that was getting away from her just as she was getting started.

Korda’s Struggles Continue

Korda dropped a third time, hit a pitch that flew to the hole and rolled about 8 feet by. She missed the putt and took a septuple-bogey 10.

Korda began her round with a bogey when she didn’t have enough club from 160 yards away. Her ball landed just short of the green and rolled some 35 yards down a steep hill.

She has only two top 10s in the U.S. Women’s Open, known as being the toughest test in golf with its difficult setup.

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