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U.S. Women's Open

Nelly Korda in U.S. Women's Open contention coming off layoff for blood clots

June 03, 2022
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Nelly Korda plays her tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the 77th U.S. Women's Open.

Jared C. Tilton

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — One of the bright young stars of women's golf endured a hellish start to 2022 after a "funny feeling" in her left arm turned out to be blood clots in the subclavian vein. A long rehab process began, and almost three months after the ordeal began, Nelly Korda felt able to compete again. This week's U.S. Women's Open at Pine Needles is the site of her return, and after a two-under 69 on Friday, Korda was three under for the tournament, safely above the cut line in a tie for 14th place as play continued.

The World No. 2 opted not to speak with the media following her second round, but on Thursday, following a 70, she said she has had strange feelings that come with being back.

"I like kind of felt sick how much adrenaline I was feeling," she said, "and then calmed myself down and played pretty well."

It was more of the same on Friday, when Korda started on No. 9 and made six straight pars before carding a birdie on 15, dropping a shot on the third, then finishing her round with a final birdie on 8, the odd closing hole for those who start on the back nine. On Thursday, she mentioned the intense heat and how she spent most of the day under the umbrella as the pace of play slowed to a crawl. Friday was cooler, and with the mercury below 90, she stayed within range of the leaders and kept the possibility of a weekend charge alive.

Korda's last start came at the Drive On Championship in early February, and a grueling odyssey that included surgery and an intense recuperation program in California gradually restored her to health. Korda wears a compression sleeve on her left arm for the now and will return on the weekend hoping to add a second major trophy and eight LPGA title overall to her collection. Success, though, won't be measured by hardware, but simply by finishing 72 holes ... with the promise of more to come.