World’s best Nelly Korda hits into water three times on one hole at US Open

Nelly Korda of the United States looks on from the 13th green during the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally at Lancaster Country Club on May 30, 2024 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Nelly Korda has been making jaws drop all year, but nobody expected the seemingly unstoppable world No 1 to cause astonishment by taking 10 shots on a par-three at the US Women’s Open as she visited the water three times.

Having broken so many records by winning six of her past seven events – including the Chevron Championship, the first female major of the year – Korda arrived at Lancaster Country Club as the overwhelming favourite to lift the biggest title in the women’s game.

But golf can make a fool of everyone and barely half an hour into her challenge in Pennsylvania, Korda was red-faced. The 25-year-old had bogeyed the 10th (her first hole), but that was nothing to the ordeal awaiting on her third hole. It did not help that she had to wait on the tee of the 161-yard 12th as the group ahead experienced their own troubles in the gusts.

“Yeah, we watched Gaby [Lopez] come up short of the water, and I think Ingrid [Lindblad] went in,” Korda said. “It was just tough.”

Korda was between clubs – a six and seven-iron – and, understandably after what she had witnessed, favoured distance. “It just kind of penetrated through the wind and it went into the back bunker,” she said. “And then I had a leaf under my ball, so when I hit, it rocketed through.”

She was obliged to recross the bridge to the drop zone where she would proceed to duff her pitches into the water twice more, before finally hitting the dancefloor and two-putting from nine feet. “I played some really bad chips over and over again”, was Korda’s honest assessment.

Korda toiled to an 80, her second-worst score as a pro. It was a brutal day, with Lydia Ko also firing an 80. England’s great hope, world No 8 Charley Hull, carded a five-over 75 and that was not too unrespectable on a layout that Korda labelled “a beast” on the practice days.

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