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Nelly Korda Falters as Yuka Saso Takes Lead in US Women's Open First Round

Posted : 31 May 2024

World No. 1 Nelly Korda's bid for a third major title suffered a dramatic setback in the first round of the US Women's Open, as she stumbled to a 10-over-par 80, her highest LPGA Tour career score. Despite arriving at Lancaster Country Club as a favorite with six wins in her last seven starts, including the Chevron Championship, Korda's chances now of even making the cut seem remote, trailing the leader by 12 strokes.


Korda's troubles began early in her round, with a bogey on her first hole followed by a par on the 11th before disaster struck on the par-3 12th where she carded a nightmare 10. Her round continued to unravel with six more bogeys and three birdies, leaving her tied for 139th place after the first round. Reflecting on her performance, Korda acknowledged it as a bad day but remained resolute, emphasizing her humanity and the occasional challenges in golf.


While Korda struggled, former champion Yuka Saso rose to the occasion, navigating the challenging conditions to seize the lead with a two-under-par 68. Saso, the 2021 champion, showcased her skill with back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th holes, finishing one stroke ahead of three players tied for second place. Despite her strong start, Saso remained grounded, focusing on staying focused and trusting her process for the remainder of the tournament.


Among the contenders tied for second place are Andrea Lee of the United States, Thailand's Wichanee Meechai, and French amateur Adela Cernousek, all posting one-under-par 69s. With the leaderboard tightly packed, including 10 players tied for fifth place at level par, the competition promises to intensify as the tournament progresses. Teenager Asterisk Talley, one of the leaders at one stage, expressed contentment despite a triple-bogey, highlighting the challenging conditions and the satisfaction with her performance.


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