avril 23, 2024

Nelly Korda: World No 1 aims for four LPGA Tour wins in a row at T-Mobile Match Play | Golf News

5 min read

To get some idea of just how much Nelly Korda has been the dominant force on the LPGA Tour in the opening months of 2024, take a quick look at some of the long-standing records she has been matching.

The 25-year-old is the first player to win on three consecutive LPGA Tour starts since Ariya Jutanugarn in 2016 and the first American to do so since Nancy Lopez way back in 1978. She is also the first to get three wins before April 1 in an LPGA Tour season since Yani Tseng in 2012, and the first American to match that feat since JoAnne Carner 44 years ago.

Lopez’s winning streak eventually extended to five and Korda will inch closer to that mark if she can add this week’s T-Mobile Match Play, live on Sky Sports, to her LPGA Drive On Championship, Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship and Ford Championship successes so far this year.

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Highlights from the final round as Nelly Korda secured victory in the Ford Championship at Seville Golf and Country Club in Arizona.

The two most recent of those came in consecutive weeks as well, and the current world No 1 believes she has unlocked some consistency in her game which may not have been there previously.

« I would say that every victory I’ve had or every single time I’ve played well I’ve felt more in the zone, » Korda said.

« But I would say that the past two weeks everything has just kind of clicked a little bit more. Even my mistakes I’ve made the right mistakes in a sense, and just playing really smart, just not taking too much risk on.

« I feel like even in ’21 I played really, really well. Even last year I had little glimpses of me playing really well, but I wasn’t consistent enough to get the win.

Nelly Korda’s 2024 LPGA Tour key stats

Category Total LPGA Tour rank
Race to CME Globe Season 1,552 1
Official Money List $924,216 1
Greens in Regulation (GIR) % 77.08 3
Putts per GIR 1.71 6
Scoring average 68.88 1
Eagles 6 1
US Solheim Cup Points 1,619 1
Rolex Player of the Year points 90 1

« Overall, I think the past two weeks have just clicked. »

Korda’s most recent victory in the Ford Championship saw her finish 20-under par for the tournament and two shots clear of the rest of the field, although she had to overcome a two-shot deficit and emerge from a gaggle of 15 players who began the final round within two shots of the lead.

It was a comparative stroll though compared to her two previous wins, where Korda had to hold her nerve in play-offs to eventually secure the title after running into bogey trouble in each of her final rounds at Bradenton Country Club and Palos Verdes Golf Club respectively.

Such was the effortless nature of her final-round 65 at the Seville Golf and Country Club to clinch the Ford Championship, her 11th LPGA Tour title overall, that Korda’s swing coach Jamie Mulligan compared it to the sort of performance 15-time men’s major win Tiger Woods used to produce in his pomp.

She’s an athlete making a hard game look easy.

Nelly Korda’s swing coach Jamie Mulligan

« That’s what it looked like when he won, » Mulligan said. « It looked like he played better than everyone else.

« Down the stretch she made zero mistakes and capitalised with good shots on the harder holes. So even though she only won by a couple of shots, it was dominant the way she controlled it.

« She might have the best motion in the game. She’s an athlete making a hard game look easy. »

Another statistic worth noting: Korda is currently the only player on the tour with an average round score of under 69, leading the Vare Trophy standings with a scoring average of 68.88.

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Highlights as Nelly Korda secured a gripping play-off win in the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship at Palos Verdes Golf Club.

That will be put to the test on an unfamiliar course in the T-Mobile Match Play though, with this week’s tournament at Shadow Creek being the first time Korda has teed up at the venue on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

The tournament format sees the field compete over three rounds of stroke play, with the top eight at the conclusion going through to the quarter-finals on Saturday when it becomes a straight knock-out match play event.

Victory in Vegas would see Korda record longest winning streak on the LPGA Tour since Lorena Ochoa won four in a row in 2008, but the old Bobby Jones aphorism of golf being a game played on the five-inch course between your ears is one she is embracing to shut out the noise about her run of form.

« [I’m] just trying to stay very much so in the moment, » Korda said. « I feel like with sports and golf in general, you have so much time to think, so I think that staying in the moment is something that I try really hard to focus on.

« But obviously with that being said, I’m super proud of the events that I’ve played and the hard work that I’ve put in and the amount of work my team and I have put in to get those victories.

« At the end of the day, it’s tough when you win first two out of three events in a row where you kind of can’t kind of think about it too much. You have to process what you’ve done but then you have to get ready for the next week. »

Watch final two rounds of the T-Mobile Match Play live on Sky Sports Golf on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 from 11pm. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and more of the best sport with NOW.

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