Nelly Korda Shoots Stunning 80 in Opening Round at U.S. Women's Open

Korda, the No. 1 player in the world, entered the event having won six of her last seven starts, including a major.
Nelly Korda shot a 10-over 80 in her opening round at Lancaster Country Club.
Nelly Korda shot a 10-over 80 in her opening round at Lancaster Country Club. / Mike Lang / Sarasota Herald-Tribune /

Nelly Korda’s opening round at the U.S. Women’s Open was a shocking divergence from her stellar play to date in 2024.

The No. 1-ranked women’s golfer in the world who entered the tournament having won six of her last seven starts, including the year’s first major, shot 10-over-par 80 at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club, matching her highest-ever score on the LPGA Tour.

Included was a score of 10 on the par-3 12th hole—her third of the day—where she found the water three times.

“Just a bad day in the office,’’ she said.

Korda, who won the Chevron Championship in April, had tied an LPGA record by winning five consecutive tournaments earlier this year before winning her last start two weeks ago.

“Not a lot of positive thoughts, honestly,’’ Korda said. “I just didn’t play well today. I didn’t hit it good. I found myself in the rough a lot. Making  a 10 on a par-3 will definitely not do you any good at a U.S. Open.’’

The 12th gave the entire field fits and was viewed in pre-tournament interviews as one that could be a problem for the field. When the U.S. Women’s Open was played at Lancaster in 2015, the results were similar, with 31 double bogeys for the week.

It didn’t help that when Korda’s group arrived on the tee, there was already a long wait with two other groups yet to play the hole. She said she was between clubs and used a 6-iron which flew into a back bunker.

From there, she played her second long and watched it roll into the water fronting the green. She then dropped on the other side of the water and hit two wedge shots short, both ending up wet. She hit her eighth shot onto the green and then two-putted for the 10, her highest-ever score on a hole.

“Just hit some really bad chips over and over again,’’ she said.

Korda ended up shooting 45 for her first nine holes and bogeyed the last hole, the ninth, to shoot 80.

“I just didn’t really want to shoot 80,’’ she said of her mindset when making the turn. “And I just kept making bogeys. My last two rounds in the U.S. Open Women’s Open have not been good. I ended Sunday (last year) at Pebble (Beach) I think shooting (80) ,and then today I shot 80.

“I’m human. I’m going to have bad days. I played some really solid golf up to this point. Today was just a bad day. That’s all I can say.’’

In addition to the seven-over 10, Korda had six bogeys and three birdies.

Korda was not alone in tough conditions. When she finished as part of the morning wave of players, she was one of seven players who shot in the 80s, including Lydia Ko who also shot 80.

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Bob Harig


Bob Harig is a senior golf writer for Sports Illustrated. He has more than 25 years experience covering golf, including 15 at ESPN. Bob is a regular guest on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio and has written two books, DRIVE: The Lasting Legacy of Tiger Woods and Tiger and Phil: Golf's Most Fascinating Rivalry. He graduated from Indiana University where he earned an Evans Scholarship, named in honor of the great amateur golfer Charles (Chick) Evans Jr. Bob, a former president of the Golf Writers Association of America, lives in Clearwater, Florida.