Olympic champ Korda shares Girls’s Open lead

Golf

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Nelly Korda‘s sensational summer time type is displaying no signal of dipping.

Two weeks after successful a gold medal on the Tokyo Olympics, the top-ranked Korda started her bid for a second main title in two months by taking pictures 5-under 67 to share the first-round lead on the Girls’s British Open on Thursday.

Korda rolled in a 5-foot putt at No. 18 at Carnoustie for her eighth birdie of a spherical that additionally contained three bogeys in overcast, chilly however largely wind-free circumstances over the hyperlinks in japanese Scotland. She was later joined on 5 underneath by Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, who has by no means recorded a top-10 end at a significant, and South Korea’s Sei Young Kim, a significant champion final 12 months and the No. 4.

The 23-year-old Korda is the brand new famous person of ladies’s golf, having climbed to No. 1 by successful the PGA Championship in June and adopted that up by successful the Olympic golf match in Tokyo this month. The American has 4 wins in 14 occasions in 2021 and mentioned she has a “goal on my again” for the final of the 5 majors.

“I attempt to take the mindset of every single day’s a brand new day,” mentioned Korda, who’s a mixed 87 underneath par for her final 21 rounds. “It does not matter what my rating is. Everybody’s going into this occasion ready and desirous to win.

“That is type of just like the mindset that I attempt to take into each occasion.”

The Girls’s Open is her first occasion because the Olympics and he or she carried the momentum to Carnoustie, holing a left-to-right 20-footer for birdie at No. 3 – the primary of three birdies in a four-hole span to instantly throw down the problem to her rivals.

Korda, who wore cumbersome, oven-style mitts between photographs at occasions throughout chilly morning circumstances that contrasted with what she skilled in Tokyo, rebounded from her second bogey of the day, at No. 12, by making a downhill putt for birdie on the subsequent and picked up one other shot on the par-5 14th after reaching the inexperienced in two.

She completed birdie-birdie by hitting her method shut at No. 18 with an 8-iron from the middle of the golf green.

“Very completely happy,” Korda mentioned of her begin. “Actually, we did not have a lot wind right now. It was very chilly within the morning – that was the one factor towards us. Apart from that, the wind stored calm and I took benefit of it.”

Korda has been on the highway for six weeks, due to her appearances on the Evian Championship in France – the fourth main of the 12 months, the place she positioned nineteenth – after which the Olympics, the place she had a one-shot victory.

“Somewhat drained however I’m going to provide it my all these subsequent three day, go dwelling subsequent week, and have one week at dwelling. Sleep in my mattress for the primary time in six weeks – that might be good,” she mentioned. “After which Solheim and we begin up once more.”

The 77th-ranked Sagstrom was enjoying in a gaggle containing European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew, simply behind Korda, and may have left a constructive impression forward of the naming of the six wild-card alternatives on Monday.

She birdied 4 of her first six holes and twice held a two-shot lead on her again 9. She stored her spherical going with some decisive par putts however could not accomplish that at No. 18 after discovering a bunker to the suitable of the golf green off the tee. She hit out to depart herself a troublesome up-and-down for par, however leaked her par putt proper.

“In fact I need to exhibit my recreation to her, I can not deny that,” Sagstrom mentioned of Matthew. “I imply, I am enjoying nicely in the meanwhile. Who is aware of the place her thoughts is at proper now?”

Kim is within the combine at one other main having gained one for the primary time on the PGA Championship final 12 months. She additionally completed third on the ANA Inspiration in April.

Her solely dropped shot was on the par-4 fifteenth, which she reached within the lead after making birdie at No. 14 to maneuver to six underneath.

Georgia Corridor of England, the 2018 champion, bogeyed the final to drop out of the lead and to 4 underneath alongside an unheralded enjoying accomplice in 21-year-old Scottish beginner Louise Duncan, who goes to Stirling College in Scotland.

“It was a ridiculous quantity of enjoyable, I wasn’t anticipating that in any respect,” mentioned Duncan, who made an eagle and 4 birdies. “I used to be so nervous at the beginning. I used to be shaking and will barely put the ball on the tee. To really make contact and it go straight was a bonus.”

Former main champion Lexi Thompson was in a gaggle at 3 underneath, whereas defending champion Sophia Popov chipped in for birdie at No. 1 on her method to taking pictures even-par 72.

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