124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

Watch and learn

This 16-year-old played with Nelly Korda and Hannah Green on Sunday at the Mizuho Americas Open. Here's what she learned from the LPGA stars


Sarah Stier

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The showdown between Nelly Korda and Hannah Green, No. 1 and No. 9 in the Rolex Rankings, during the final round of the Mizuho Americas Open captivated fans at Liberty National on Sunday. But no one had a better view of all the action than Gianna Clemente. The 16-year-old from Estero, Fla., rounded out the threesome, as she was competing in the AJGA event conducted simultaneously to the LPGA tournament in this uniquely formatted two-year-old event.

Clemente, No. 2 in the AJGA Rolex Rankings and No. 22 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, began her final round leading the AJGA tournament, played under a modified Stableford format with 113 points. Yana Wilson, the defending champ and No. 1 in the AJGA Rolex Rankings, trailed by two points.

Ultimately, the pressure of playing alongside the LPGA’s final pairing didn’t shake Clemente, who has competed as an amateur in four LPGA events and was a winner along with Avery Zweig at the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. She pulled off a two-point victory after shooting the equivalent of a even-par 72.

While focused on her own game, Clemente was well aware of what was taking place around her, Korda and Green tied from the eighth hole until the 18th green. Ultimately Korda pulled out her sixth win in her last seven starts when Green bogeyed the final hole.

So what was it like to play in that environment? After the round, Clemente revealed that the high-pressure situation may have actually helped her stay calm down the stretch.

“I think just watching them and their composure. Obviously, they’re pretty much in the same situation that I am, just on a bigger stage,” Clemente said.

“You know, both were very, very close, and even though I wasn’t playing with my playing competitors, I knew it was really close. So to watch them really stay composed and patient, which is what I was trying to do as well, I think just watching them do that was really cool,” Clemente said.

Even if it wasn’t expressed in so many words, Clemente says that she learned a lot from her round watching Korda, who shot a final-round 71 and acknowledge her swing was a little off during the round.

“I know [Korda] didn’t play 100 percent today, but just watching her take it one shot at a time. Again, that is what I was trying to do as well. Just watching that and knowing that I’m trying to do that as well,” Clemente said.

While Wilson finished tied for second with Anna Huang, both scoring 147 points, she says that playing alongside LPGA pros like Gabi Ruffles and Ayaka Furue gave her some great insights into her own game and left her with a few key takeaways moving forward.

“They don’t make mistakes around the golf course. They have one swing, and they kind of stick to it. They keep things as simple as possible, and I love that. They just play really boring golf,” Wilson said, “They’re both great players, and I was honestly just trying to model my game after theirs.”