Sunday, December 5

‘I’m like a girl playing golf’: Nelly Korda plays calmly at the Women’s Open | Golf


Less seems to be more for Nelly Korda. Eyebrows were raised as the world number one chose to avoid pre-tournament media duties at the Women’s Open, with rumors abound in Carnoustie as to why the newly crowned Olympic champion may choose to avoid the spotlight. The explanation for the reluctance turned out to be perfectly simple.

“I’ve had a long couple of weeks,” Korda said. “It was my pro-am day and I was really tired. I wasn’t really hitting him well and just went to the field to try and prepare for the next four days. Sometimes you have to give your body a break. “Pressure, what pressure?” It doesn’t matter what my classification is, “said Korda.” Everyone goes to this event prepared and wanting to win.

“That is a kind of mentality that I try to adopt at each event. Obviously there are expectations, but you try to calm down, keep your head down and go with the flow. “

So far, the moderate policy has paid off. Korda signed for a 67, including a birdie-birdie finish that is far from common in one of the toughest tournament venues in the world. His approach to the brutal 17, at six feet, was one of the shots of the day. Korda’s round featured eight birdies, illustrating the level of damage Carnoustie could deal with if the bugs are removed. “I’m still like a kid playing golf, enjoying myself in this cold weather,” Korda added with a smile.

It transpired that the “little girl” has learned from the voice of experience. Karen Stupples, the winner of this event in 2004, is in Carnoustie as part of a broadcast team. A casual conversation between Stupples, 48, and Korda on Wednesday influenced the US PGA champion’s thought process.

“Karen was telling me that if you’re in the fairway bunkers, it’s very painful,” Korda said. “Today was fine because there wasn’t a lot of wind and you can be aggressive, but when the wind gets obviously stronger, just take that four iron and get another four iron because it’s easier to go up and down from the green than it is to shoot from. the bunker and then have 170 inside again. I hit a five iron from the 11th tee yesterday and we talked about it. What he said is so true. I played well, I took advantage of a calmer day ”.

Charley Hull, who was playing with Korda, required treatment on the field for a discomfort in his back. At that stage, Hull had started a double ghost, a ghost. Another double, at 17, contributed to an ugly 77. Hull’s English partner, Mel Reid, slipped to a 75. Korda’s older sister, Jessica, was three under 12 before a horror finale – Carnoustie may do that with the best of them – he put one on him.

Madelene Sagström’s pairing with European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew seemed significant, with only days left until wild card picks for the biennial event were announced. Sagström, who represented Europe in 2017, is out of the automatic qualifying places this time. A 67, ruined only by a ghost at last, surely helped the Swede’s case.

“Of course, I want to show Catriona my game,” Sagström said. “I cannot deny that. I am playing well at the moment. Who knows where your mind is right now? I’m just trying to play my best to give myself a chance for that team.

“I haven’t put too much pressure on myself this time. I pushed myself a little bit more in both ’17 and ’19, I really wanted to be a part of that team and now I’m in a state where I’m like, if I’m good enough, I will. team.”

Kim Sei-young, who has 17 professional wins to his name, joined the 67 club much later in the day.

Lydia Ko’s 72 stood out for the last nine consecutive pairs. Danielle Kang produced a triple bogey eight at 14 en route to a 76. Minjee Lee, winner of the Evian Championship last month, has big back-to-back wins in her sights after a 71. Lee still had reason to regret a three holes range from 8, played at five over par. “I would sum up the day as eventful,” said the Australian.

Georgia Hall, the 2018 winner, has found herself outside of the world’s top 50 at several points this year and started this great number 43. Playing in the afternoon wave she had reason to be content with a 68. Hall’s score was matched , most impressively, by Scottish fan Louise Duncan. Sophia Popov, the defending champion, is on par.


www.theguardian.com

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