Jun 20th, 2021
Nelly Korda Closes in on Meijer Classic title
Record score sets American up for her second win of the season
Photography: Getty Images
The four-time LPGA Tour champion recorded 11 birdies en route to matching the tournament record score to par and setting a career-best mark. Korda also adds her name to the shortlist of players who have carded 11 birdies in a round, tied for the second-most in LPGA Tour history behind only Annika Sorenstam’s 13 from her famous 59 back in 2001.
“You don’t take these days for granted,” said Korda, who beat Lexi Thompson’s 54-hole tournament scoring record by three shots standing at twenty-under-par overall.
“Any day you get to make a move up the leaderboard is a good day. Definitely a big confidence boost after missing the cut at the U.S. [Women’s] Open.”
Korda’s 54-hole score (196) matches a career-best total and gives her a three-shot advantage going into the final round at Blythefield Country Club.
“I like this golf course a lot,” Korda said.
“Finished inside the top-10 the last time we were here [in 2019] so I feel comfortable out here. I had short clubs in [today] which was nice. I was hitting fairways, hitting it close. When you have putts inside 10 feet, you’re bound to roll one or two in.”
Leona Maguire, the 36-hole leader, could only manage a two-under-par 70 and heads into the final round three shots back, the same margin she led by entering the day.
“I played pretty well from tee to green, gave myself a lot of chances,” said Maguire.
Just didn’t hole any putts, couldn’t really get it going. You have to hole putts around here to make birdies. I didn’t really do that. Didn’t take advantage of the par-5s enough. A little bit of a frustrating day, but I hung in there.
“All the pressure is on Nelly. Everybody expects Nelly to win tomorrow. She’s ranked No. 4 in the world, nobody expects me to do anything tomorrow. I’ve really got nothing to lose.”
Swede Madelene Sagstrom turned in a bogey-free 65 which included a four straight birdies from the 2nd to the 5th. She rounds out Sunday’s final grouping and is alone in third on sixteen-under overall
“I have been hitting the ball quite well all week, giving myself chances and I really got the putter going,” said Sagstrom.
“I kind of saw the hole grow and grow and grow, and I was like, ‘Okay, let’s keep going.’ I have always been able to make a lot of birdies, but I tend to put a few too many other colors on the scorecard. It is critical [to eliminate bogeys] because here, when you make a bogey, you lose against the field.”
Australian Su Oh sits alone in fourth trailing Korda by five shots and. Four players share fifth, including a pair of major champions, Georgia Hall and Anna Nordqvist. The top-8 players represent five different countries on the Meijer LPGA Classic leaderboard entering the final round.
Charley Hull of England is also in the group on fourteen-under, six back from the leader.