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Nelly Korda has a 'did you see that?' moment en route to an opening 74 at the Amundi Evian Championship

July 22, 2021

Nelly Korda plays her second shot on the 13th hole during the opening round of the Amundi Evian Championship.

Stuart Franklin

On the eve of the Amundi Evian Championship, Nelly Korda, the top-ranked female golfer in the world, was asked how she planned to manage her time in the coming weeks with a schedule that included a trip to France for the year’s fourth major, then on to Tokyo for the Olympics.

“I bought a gaming laptop, so I am gaming a little, just to try and keep my mind off of things,” Korda, 22, explained. “You kind of need a way to kind of escape a little sometimes, so I was like, hmm, may as well try it out.”

After a frustrating round Thursday at Evian-Les-Bains, Korda potentially might take out some of her disappointing playing Call of Duty. A month removed from rounds of 70-63-68-68 to win her first career major at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Korda stumbled to a three-over 74 that left her tied for 99th, nine off the pace of leaders Yealimi Noh and Pajaree Anannarukarn.

Increasing the disappointment was the way Korda played her final hole, the par-5 ninth. Her second shot reached a greenside bunker but stopped tight against the back bank. When she went to play her next shot, the club hit the turf outside the bunker, which caused her to miss the ball in her follow through, a whiff that counted as her third shot.

Attempting to regroup, Korda played her fourth out sideways the ball settling in the fringe of the putting green. She’d two-putt from there for a final-hole bogey 6, a fairly impressive score considering the circumstances that led to it.

The 74 was the first over-par round Korda has posted since missing the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open in June. She’ll have work to do on Friday if she wants to avoid missing the cut (top 70 and ties) in France as well.