No.1 Korda fires 10 at par-3 12th early in US Women’s Open

Top-ranked Nelly Korda of the United States fired a seven-over 10 at the par-3 12th hole early in her opening round Thursday at the US Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Sarah Stier)

Top-ranked Nelly Korda stumbled to a nightmare 10 at the par-3 12th hole on her way to a 10-over-par 80 in Thursday’s opening round of the US Women’s Open to all-but doom her victory hopes.

Korda arrived at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania as a heavy favorite after winning six of her past seven starts, including the year’s first major tournament at the Chevron Championship in April.

But the 25-year-old American, the daughter of former Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda, left the course sharing 120th and 11 strokes off the pace after six bogeys, three birdies and her horror 12th hole.

“I just didn’t really want to shoot 80 and I just kept making bogeys,” Korda said. “I’m human. I’m going to have bad days. I played some really solid golf up to this point. Today was just a bad day. That’s all I can say.”

Korda was undone after starting her first round with a bogey at the 10th hole followed by a par at 11 and then a hefty wait at the 12th tee.

“We waited for like 25 to 30 minutes on that tee,” Korda said. “I was in between a 7-iron and a 6-iron. I just didn’t really know what to hit.

“It was just a tough day.”

After seeing one rival find water off the tee and another land short of the green, Korda’s turn came and she knocked her tee shot at the 161-yard 12th over the green and into a bunker 53 feet beyond the hole.

“I kind of teed it up behind the tee box a little, one club length back,” Korda said. “I hit a 6-iron and it just kind of penetrated through the wind and it went into the back bunker.”

Korda pitched onto the green but her second shot rolled off the far edge and into a creek fronting the green.

“I kind of had a leaf under my ball,” Korda said of her lie in the sand. “So when I hit it kind of rocketed through. Couldn’t really do anything about that.”

After dropping into the penalty area, Korda sent her next two shots into the water as well, leaving her back in the penalty area attempting her eighth shot.

“Just hit some really bad chips over and over again,” Korda said.

From there, she landed the ball just outside eight feet from the hole and two-putted for 10.

The disaster hole left her eight-over for the round after three holes and 10 strokes out of the lead.

She added bogeys at the par-4 15th and par-3 17th, making the turn at 10-over 45, before playing the front side — her second nine of the day — at level par.

– ‘I didn’t hit it good’ –

Korda made birdies at the par-4 third, par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth and bogeys at the par-4 fifth, par-3 sixth and par-4 ninth.

“Not a lot of positive thoughts, honestly,” Korda said. “I just didn’t play well today. I didn’t hit it good. I found myself in the rough a lot. Making a 10 on a par-3 will definitely not do you any good at a US Open.

“I started off really poorly but played pretty well on the back nine. But overall, yeah, just a bad day in the office.”

Six players were on the course at one-under par overall to share the lead with the clubhouse lead at level par 70 shared by South Korean Kim Sei-young, Germany’s Alexandra Forsterling, Japan’s Chisato Iwai and US amateur Megan Schofill.

Korda won her sixth LPGA title of the year earlier this month at the Americas Open at Liberty National.

Korda, the reigning Olympic champion, won her first major crown at the 2021 Women’s PGA Championship.

js/rcw


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