nelly korda cemented her place as the most dominant player in women’s soccer when she claimed gold at the olympics, beating mone inami and lydia ko by one stroke. Korda teamed up with Xander Schauffele to give the U.S. uu. her second gold medal in golf from her just six weeks after claiming her first major title in the kpmg women’s pga championship.
Korda becomes the first American woman to win a golf medal since 1900, when Margaret Abbott won gold in Paris.
Reading: Olympic women’s golf 2021
“It’s crazy,” Korda said. “It sounds absurd that it’s a gold medal (winner). And I’m an Olympic athlete. I don’t know, I just haven’t sunk in yet.”
This marks the 23-year-old Korda’s fourth win of the season and his first since becoming world number one. June 1. After flirting with a 59 in the second round and settling for a 62, Korda seemed poised for gold until a sloppy double bogey on the seventh hole, where the ball rolled twice at her feet, left her tied for the first place. with lydia ko from new zealand and aditi ashok from india.
“I think it lit a fire inside of me to be honest,” Korda said of the double bogey. “I even hooked my driver on the eight. I just wasn’t emotionally into it then.”
Korda didn’t stay on the ground long and proved his worth by posting three consecutive birdies at nos. 8-10 to piece together a three-stroke heading into the back nine as players raced against an oncoming storm.
“I never lost the lead,” Korda said, “but I felt like I did, just because I felt like I wasn’t playing that well.” but I struggled a lot today.”
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Korda, leading by three strokes into the final round over india’s adidi ashok, held off strong efforts from ko, who birdied four of his first five holes, and japan’s inami, who birdied four consecutive holes at nos. 12-15. Ashok struggled off the tee during the final round, but kept the heat on with a spectacular putt.
The nine-second run produced a spectacular viewing in primetime in the US. uu. until play was called off at 11:27 a.m. due to hazardous weather conditions, with the last two groups at the accessible, par-4 17th hole. Korda had a one-shot lead over Inami at the time and a two-shot lead over ko and ashok when the horn sounded.
shortly after play resumed at 12:15 a.m. m. ET, Inami made a birdie putt to match Korda heading to the last hole.
after inami’s approach shot settled into a steep uphill into a greenside bunker, however, he was unable to go up and down, opening the door for korda to clinch the gold medal with par and a total of 267, 17 under par.
Korda led the field in greens in regulation and finished the event in second place in strokes gained off the tee. The seemingly flawless woman currently leads the tour in scoring average (68.89), eagles and rounds in the 60s. Of her 50 rounds on tour, 38 have been under par.
“This is like total goat status for me,” Jessica Korda said of her younger sister after closing with 64. “Winning three times in one season, being number one in the world. 1 and now she’s going for the gold, I mean you guys write for a living, this is exactly what you want to write about.”
ko and inami entered a sudden death playoff for the silver and bronze medals. inami won silver after paring the first extra hole, giving the host country its first ever golf medal. Mone, ranked 28th in the world, has five wins from 20 starts on the Japan LPGA so far this season and now a medal to go with it.
for ko, it marked her second olympic medal, in addition to the silver she won at the 2016 games in rio.
“before today started, my coach sean (foley) said something like ‘what should be, will be,’” ko said. “I guess that’s what I tried to think of today.”
“Being a two-time medalist in the last two Games, it’s safe to say I really enjoyed my two times at the Olympics.”
ashok, ranked 200th in the world, finished only in fourth place at 15 under par, one shot away from the tiebreaker. still, his strong performance surely introduced a large number of Indians to the old game for the first time.
“I didn’t leave anything lying around,” Ashok said. “I think I gave my one hundred percent, but yeah, fourth place in a three-medal Olympics sucks.”