Nelly Korda stumbles again in 1st event since US Women’s Open, shooting 76 in Meijer LPGA Classic

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Nelly Korda stumbled again Thursday in her first event since missing the cut in the U.S. Women’s Open, dropping four strokes on the first three holes in a 4-over 76 at the windy Meijer LPGA Classic.

The top-ranked Korda was tied for 133rd in the 144-player field, 11 strokes behind leader Alison Lee at Blythefield Country Club.

Korda shot 80-70 — making a 10 on a hole in the first round — two weeks ago in the U.S. Women’s Open in Pennsylvania. She came into the Women’s Open with six victories in her last seven tournaments, including a major that tied an LPGA Tour record for five wins in a row.

On Thursday at Blythefield, where she won in 2021 at a tournament-record 25 under, Korda opened double bogey-bogey-bogey. Playing in the afternoon in a group with fellow past champions Brooke Henderson and Leona Maguire, Korda was even par the rest of the way, offsetting three bogeys with three birdies.

Lee shot 65. Winless on the tour, she eagled the par-5 eighth and had seven birdies and a bogey.

“Definitely really nice to shoot a low one today,” Lee said. “Definitely giving a lot of credit to my putter. Even I made a lot of really, really good par saves, and a lot of good birdies.”

Henderson, the Canadian who the event in 2017 and 2019, was two strokes back at 67 with 2022 champion Jennifer Kupcho, Lizette Salas, Benedetta Moresco, Narin An, Carlota Ciganda, Ssu-Chia Cheng, Lauren Hartlage and Daniela Darquea.

“It was extremely windy,” Henderson said. “It was really tough to judge. I feel like the first few holes I didn’t hit a fairway and was really getting up-and-down, made a lot clutch par saves, which really kept the momentum and the round going.”

Lilia Vu, a former No. 1 player and double major winner last year, opened with a 69 — playing alongside Lee — in her return from a back injury that sidelined her since the Ford Championship in Arizona at the end of March.

“Played with my good friend Alison,” Vu said. “It was fun. She played really well, so kept me in check.”

Lexi Thompson, the 2015 winner, shot 71. She has gone more than five years without winning. Thompson has said this will be her last year playing a full schedule.

Defending champion Maguire eagled the par-5 18th for a 72.


AP golf:

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