Nelly Korda confirmed calm dominance as Staff U.S. completed off a golf gold-medal sweep on the Olympics


Earlier than Staff USA’s Nelly Korda teed off within the ultimate spherical within the ladies’s Olympic golf competitors at Kasumigaseki Nation Membership, gold medal winner and fellow Staff USA member Xander Schauffele tweeted her a particular message: “Convey house the gold @NellyKorda! I will be rooting for you tonight.”

For 54 holes the No. 1 ranked participant proved her dominance on the course. Heading into the ultimate spherical, she led by three pictures and maintained a stage of calm that no different participant appeared to match. Earlier than the ultimate spherical began, it introduced a collection of unknowns, together with whether or not the 60-player subject would be capable to end 72 holes as a result of a looming tropical storm. But it surely felt like amongst all of the unknowns, one factor was clear: Korda got here to win gold.

Whilst participant after participant tried to cozy up subsequent to Korda on the leaderboard, she held her personal. She performed her sport. She did what she did finest. She remained calm.

When she began to slide, with a double bogey on the seventh, she shortly recovered and rolled in three consecutive birdies. All through the week, Korda did not draw back from the truth that she felt assured on the market. She did not draw back from the truth that though she’s a first-time Olympian, she wasn’t actually feeling the nerves.

“I have been truly actually calm the final three days,” she mentioned after the third spherical. “I have never actually gotten nervous.”

For 72 holes, her sport spoke for her: I am No. 1 for a motive. When Korda sank her ultimate par putt on the 18th gap, she mentioned all of it once more with out saying something. She deserved to be there. She earned it. This gold medal was hers.

“It feels wonderful,” Korda mentioned. “Lydia [Ko, who took bronze for New Zealand] was taking part in rather well, so was Mone [Inami;, who won silver for Japan]. They each performed tremendous nicely, so we have been all bunched up there. It was very annoying, however I stored it collectively, I fought fairly onerous.

“I’ve had a reasonably good stretch of occasions, but it surely does not imply essentially that you will play nicely, so that you form of attempt to put the expectations to the facet and simply exit and have a pleasant recent week, benefit from the Olympic expertise as a result of it is such a singular and enjoyable expertise now doing it for the primary time. And as Lydia mentioned, you play for extra than simply your self, you additionally play on your nation. So protected to say I actually loved my first Olympic expertise.”

It is solely been just a few months since Korda claimed the No. 1 rating on this planet. After profitable her first main on the KPMG Ladies’s PGA Championship on the finish of June, Korda ascended to the No. 1 spot within the Rolex Ladies’s World Golf Rankings. In doing so, Korda grew to become simply the third American to carry the No. 1 spot because the rankings have been launched in 2006. Stacy Lewis was the final American to say No. 1, for 4 weeks in 2013 and 21 weeks in 2014. Previous to that, Cristie Kerr held the spot for 5 weeks in 2010.

With over 60 international locations represented, the LPGA stays one of the crucial various sports activities leagues. This season, gamers from 10 completely different international locations have received occasions. And in Tokyo, there have been 35 international locations represented with three international locations making up the rostrum (the US, Japan and New Zealand).

Since her rookie season in 2017, Korda has captured six wins, together with one main. Though it has been no shock that Korda has been profitable, this yr, she is demonstrating a brand new form of dominance.

A dominance that we have not seen from an American participant.

A dominance that ended South Korea’s Jin Young Ko‘s 100-week run atop the rankings.

A dominance that received gold at her first look on the Olympics.

A dominance that received Staff USA’s first medal in ladies’s golf since 1900 (golf returned to the Olympics in 2016 after a 112-year absence; no People stood on the rostrum in 2016).

A dominance in being the primary participant (man or girl) to win a serious and the Olympic gold medal in the identical yr.

Korda’s win gave the U.S. a gold-medal sweep in golf at these Video games. In whole, the U.S. had 4 males and 4 ladies within the high 15 in every of the golf competitions.

“That is whole GOAT standing for me,” Jessica mentioned about her sister’s yr.

Even with a gold medal round her neck and her latest accomplishments on Tour, Korda remains to be wanting forward and making an attempt to determine methods to proceed transferring ahead, methods to maintain maintain of that No. 1 rating.

“With sports activities it is so completely different since you’re always wanting forward,” Korda mentioned. “It by no means actually will get to form of sink in. I feel I am going to look again on the season after the season is finished, however proper now there’s nonetheless plenty of large occasions arising. Once I do look again it is simply loopy.

“My dad and mom at all times say that I am a lion as a result of I’ve at all times, ever since a younger age, I’ve at all times been super-determined and super-focused on what I would like.”

Proper now, for each American and girls’s golf, Korda is main the pack. And he or she’s not wanting again.

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