Ladies European Tour
Aug 20th, 2021
Nelly Korda shares lead at AIG Women's Open
Scottish amateur Louise Duncan and Georgia Hall one off the lead
Korda, the Olympic gold medallist and Rolex Women’s Golf World Rankings number one, moved quickly to the top of the leaderboard after a superb opening round of five-under-par 67.
The American, who claimed the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in June, closed with an impressive four birdies in her last six holes as she seeks to claim a second Major championship title.
“I played well. I took advantage of the calmer day and I’m happy with the score I have. I could take advantage (of the conditions) and be more aggressive. It’s good to have a caddie that keeps it positive out there and reminds you there is plenty of golf yet," said Korda.
"You have to enjoy it here. You never know what kind of weather you’ll get. It’s the coldest I’ve played in this year and it’s a bit of an adjustment from Tokyo.”
On a calm, overcast day, with the Angus links softened by overnight rain, a number of players thrived in the conditions.
Korea’s Sei Young Kim and Madelene Sagstrom from Sweden also opened with excellent 67s to join Korda at the summit. Kim, who won last year’s Women’s PGA, carded four birdies in five holes from the sixth with Solheim Cup-chasing Sagstrom, paired with European captain Catriona Matthew, also enjoying four birdies in her opening six holes.
Duncan delighted the home crowds to sit just a shot off the lead after a superb four-under-par 68.
The 21-year-old Scot won the 118th Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) in June and continued her love for links golf to sit in a share of fourth place, highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 14th and four solid closing pars over Carnoustie’s demanding finish.
“Emotions were very nervous with a wee bit of excitement in there. Then when it started to go really well, the nerves came back and my heart rate went up. Overall, I really enjoyed it, and I'm already looking forward to tomorrow. The cheers at the end were definitely special. A wee bit unexpected as well, but, yes, they were special,” said Duncan.
Duncan’s playing partner Georgia Hall, the 2018 champion, rekindled her affection for the championship after the English player recorded six birdies with just two bogeys for her 68.
American Andrea Lee, who started with three birdies, and Yuka Saso, the reigning US Women’s Open champion from the Philippines, also enjoyed excellent first rounds to join Hall and Duncan on four-under-par.
A further three players are well-placed on three-under-par, namely American pair Lexi Thompson and Lizette Salas and Spaniard Carlota Ciganda.
Defending champion Sophia Popov chipped in at the first for a birdie but endured an up-and-down day in signing for a level par round of 72.