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Artistic Nelly Korda Shows Potential For Women's Open at St Andrews

By: | Mon 25 Mar 2024

Many of us will be feeling a little rusty following the upcoming Bank Holiday Weekend, but lethargy wasn't a factor for Nelly Korda who returned from a seven-week break to secure her second LPGA Tour victory of the year - regaining the world number one ranking in the process.

After winning January's Drive On Championship in Florida, the 25-year-old decided to bypass the tour's Asian Swing and returned to action at the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship in California.

She won both events - in dramatic style. Having dropped four shots in three back-nine holes earlier in the year - only to finish eagle-birdie to deny Lydia Ko - this time, Korda's messy closing stretch included bogeys on the 17th and 18th, which opened the door for the experienced Ryann O'Toole in the clubhouse.

Away for a playoff they went, but Korda rebounded from that disappointing end to her round by holing a 12-footer for birdie on the first extra hole to claim her tenth triumph on the LPGA Tour.

Nelly Korda

"I'm aging myself really quickly out here," remarked Korda on her growing fondness for edgy finales. "Eagle, bogey, birdie, bogey, bogey. Yeah. I say this all the time, but I seem to always make it interesting. Just doing normal Nelly things, making it interesting."

Interesting, for sure, but also extremely good. The progress Korda made in 2021 (winning four times, including her first major) was stalled by treatment for a blood clot in her arm the following year, but the 2020 Olympic champion is back where she belongs.

Focus now turns to the major championships, firstly the Chevron in April, but minds could already wander towards her chances at the AIG Women's Open in St Andrews, especially given the way that Korda overcame the cold and windy conditions at Palos Verdes Golf Club.

"The weekend was brutal," she said. "It's also the beauty of the game. It's fun to be able to play in these conditions and be a little more artistic."

That artistry may well come in handy at The Old Course, which is known to embrace a breezy day or two. Korda's record in the championship is fairly uninspiring for her undoubted talents, but the most venerable stage in the game could prove to be an appropriate fit when the final major of the year rolls around in August.

It will be quite a spectacle - and the leaderboard presence of the current world number one would elevate it even further.

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Tags: Womens Open st andrews Nelly Korda lpga

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