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Nelly Korda Wins Fifth Consecutive Title at The Chevron Championship

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Nelly Korda

THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Nelly Korda collected her fifth straight LPGA Tour victory on Sunday at The Chevron Championship at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas in dominant fashion, winning by two shots over Maja Stark.

Korda finished the last seven holes of her third round on Sunday morning, parring in to post a 3-under 69 and sit in a tie for second alongside Brooke Henderson, one shot back of 54-hole leader Haeran Ryu.

Starting her final round just a couple of hours later, Korda parred the first two holes while her groupmates faltered, picking up a pair of back-to-back birdies on holes three and four to lead by two shots over 2024 LPGA Tour rookie Jin Hee Im at 12-under. The 25-year-old grabbed another birdie on the par-5 8th hole to get to 13-under overall, parring the ninth hole to turn in 33 with a three-shot advantage.

Korda made another birdie on the par-4 10th hole to move to 14-under overall before making her first bogey of the round on 11 to drop back to 13-under, the first shot Korda had given back to the field since she bogeyed the 7th hole on Friday.

Meanwhile, Lauren Coughlin was charging up the leaderboard, making birdies on holes 10 and 11 ahead of Korda to get within two shots of the lead. But she gave Korda a little breathing room after making bogeys on 16 and 17, and with just a handful of holes to play, Korda held a four-shot lead.

But the 12-time LPGA Tour winner stumbled again with a bogey on the par-5 15th hole, and after Coughlin made a bounce-back birdie on the par-5 18th hole to post at 10-under total, Korda held a two-shot lead with three holes to play at The Club at Carlton Woods.

After parring the 16th hole, Korda nearly dunked her tee shot on the par-3 17th hole for an ace, ultimately two-putting for par to lead by two shots with just 18 standing between her and the Dinah Shore Trophy.

But Stark wasn’t going to go quietly. After sitting at 9-under and pretty much out of the conversation for majority of the back nine, the Swede birdied the 17th hole and nearly pitched in for eagle on the par-5 18th hole, tapping in for birdie to post at 11-under, now just one shot back of Korda with one hole to play.

Korda wasn’t fazed though, piping her drive down the middle of the fairway and then putting her second shot on the back fringe, sitting within 30 feet of the hole for eagle. She ran her eagle try by just a couple of feet, handily making the nervy come backer for birdie to win her second major title and first since the 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with a four-day total of 13-under.

“It's just been a crazy, crazy, crazy couple of weeks, with some really solid golf. I can finally breathe,” said a shivering Korda in her winning press conference, still damp from her leap into the lake by 18. “I was really nervous on that back nine. I really, really wanted this win. It feels amazing to get it.

“My first-ever major, competing in a major, was at the U.S. Women's Open at Sebonack, and that was when I dreamt of winning major championships. To have two under my belt now is a dream come true.”

With her 13th career victory, Korda is now the 31st different American to earn 13 or more wins on the LPGA Tour and is the 52nd player ever to win two or more major titles, becoming the ninth player in LPGA Tour history to win at least both the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and The Chevron Championship.

She joins Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam as the only other player since 1978 to win five consecutive titles and will have a chance to top that pair next week as Korda is currently scheduled to play in the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro.

But that’s a tomorrow Nelly concern. For now, she’s just going to soak in this moment, one for which she’s waited quite some time, and finally take a deep breath as her history is finally made.

“I'm going to enjoy this right now, and then I'll think about that,” smiled Korda. “It's been an amazing time. Hopefully, I’ll keep the streak alive. But I've been so grateful to compete week in and week out and get the five in a row.”

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Nelly Korda shoots Sunday 65 to win third straight LPGA Tour title

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Nelly Korda battled tough conditions and came from behind to win the Ford Championship, successfully securing her third straight win.

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Nelly Korda wasn’t about to let her feat go unnoticed. At a time when Scottie Scheffler was dominating the PGA Tour and nearly won for the third straight start on Sunday, it was actually Korda who checked off that box.

The 25-year-old pro fired a seven-under 65 to come from behind and win the Ford Championship at Seville Golf and Country Club in Gilbert, Ariz., on Sunday, successfully securing her third straight win.

Korda also won last week’s FIR HILLS SERI PAK Championship , as well as her start before that, the LPGA Drive On Championship , in late January.

She’s the first player on the LPGA to win three straight starts since Ariya Jutanugarn in 2016 and the first American to do it since Nancy Lopez won five straight in 1978.

“It honestly feels like a blur,” Korda said. “Taking it day by day and really trying to stay very present, and just played really good golf, really solid golf in tough conditions today, which I’m really happy about.”

Korda’s bucking a trend, too. Last week was just the first time in her career she won despite not holding the 54-hole lead. Now, she’s made it two in a row.

Sarah Schmelzel, Carlota Ciganda and Hyo Joo Kim held the 54-hole lead at 15 under, but there was a ton of firepower near the top of the leaderboard. Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and Korda were among a group of 10 players tied at 13 under, two off the lead.

On a rainy Sunday, Korda birdied 5, 6 and 9 to turn in three-under 33, and after birdies on 12 and 13 she got to 18 under to steal the solo lead away from a group that included Thompson, who is still looking for her first win since 2019. (Korda and Thompson now both have 11 career LPGA victories.)

Scottie Scheffler congratulates Stephen Jaeger at the Houston Open.

Stephan Jaeger denies Scottie Scheffler’s third straight victory in Houston

Thompson was four under through seven holes.

“It was crazy conditions,” Thompson said, “but it was almost just like it gets to where it’s mental when it comes to these kinds of conditions.”

Hira Naveed jumped into the mix with a four-under back nine, and her birdies on 16 and 17 got her to 18 under. It was right around that same time Thompson birdied 14 to make it again a three-way tie for the lead.

But that’s when Korda, who didn’t make a bogey on Sunday, pulled away.

With Naveed finishing her round, Korda made a birdie on 16 to be the first to get to 19 under. On the short par-4, she laid up to her ideal wedge yardage and nearly knocked it in for eagle. She said afterward they changed up her game plan on that hole, but other than that the plan was to be aggressive.

“I knew I had to shoot a low one to be in contention,” she said, “and I just played really smart golf out there today.”

Scottie Scheffler and Nelly Korda are chasing history this weekend.

Scottie Scheffler, Nelly Korda and a remarkable chase for something we’ve never seen

Behind her, Thompson seemed like the most likely player to catch Korda. But Thompson, one back at the time, rinsed one in the water from the tee on the short par-4 16th. She made bogey, and then another bogey on 17. A birdie on 18 wasn’t enough. She shot 68 and finished three back.

When Korda got to the par-5 18th, the math was already working in her favor. She got near the front of the green in two and then chipped close and made her birdie tap-in for 20 under. At that time, even with nine players who teed off behind her, it seemed like the win was hers. About 40 minutes later, it was. She won by two over Naveed.

In just four starts this season, Korda already has three wins. That’s one shy of her most in any season, when she won four times in 2021. As for if she can make it four in a row? We’ll find out next week, when she’s in the field at the T-Mobile Match Play in Las Vegas.

“It’s very hard mentally to be 100 percent, especially after a win and especially playing in tough conditions,” Korda said. “As boring as it sounds, I was just taking it shot by shot and seeing where I was going to end up, but to get three in a row, that’s just a dream come true.”

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How club pro’s clever practice-round tactic fueled hot pga championship start, viktor hovland changed coaches. here's why he just changed back, the weird reality of xander schauffele's record-breaking pga championship start, tiger woods’ thursday was rough. here’s why friday will be riveting, josh berhow.

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing , editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at [email protected].

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Fresh off Met Gala star turn, Nelly Korda's focus goes to setting LPGA win-streak record

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Nelly Korda hits a shot during the second round of the 2023 Founder Cup.

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The Met Gala may be one of the few places where Nelly Korda can slip into being just a background character. On Monday, the No. 1 player in the world was the first golfer to go to the famed fundraiser since Tiger Woods in 2013 and the first LPGA player ever to attend an event that is among the most star-studded social gatherings each year. Korda said she recognized Shakira and had Jaden Smith approach her and introduce himself. Otherwise, the 25-year-old spent most of the time people-watching.

"I think I'm just a grain of sand in such a big, big room," Korda said in a press conference on Wednesday. "I thought it was incredible that you get all these people in one room. I was just in awe the entire night."

MORE: Nancy Lopez, Annika Sorenstam have advice for Nelly Korda during record run

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Nelly Korda was the first LPGA player to ever attend the Met Gala.

Dia Dipasupil

All eyes in the golf world now focus on Korda as she goes for her sixth straight victory on the LPGA in the Cognizant Founders Cup this week, a feat never accomplished in the tour's 74-year history. The five-in-a-row run dates back to January, when she won in her hometown of Bradenton, Fla., at the Drive On Championship. The 13-time winner matched the longest win streak in LPGA history set by Hall of Famers Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) and Nancy Lopez (1978) with her fifth straight victory at the Chevron Championship two weeks ago, when she captured her second major title.

Initially, Korda was planning to play the JM Eagle LA Championship, the event after the Chevron. But she then announced on that Monday that she decided to withdraw from the Wilshire Country Club tournament, noting in a statement that she needed to rest from the mental toll that contending week after week placed on her.

She explained ahead of the Chevron that she felt around 70 percent at the start of the tournament. Then the rush of that victory kept her awake for most of the night.

"First night, Sunday, I really didn't sleep much at all," Korda said. "The adrenaline, you actually feel really sick. You can't sleep. The adrenaline wears off and the body starts to ache a little bit."

Now, Korda is going for her sixth straight title at Upper Montclair Country Club in New Jersey, where she missed the cut last year. She struggled in the Garden State in 2023, missing the weekend at both the Founders Cup and the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Baltusrol the following week. She opened her press conference Wednesday by pointing that fact out.

"My track record isn't great in New Jersey, so I'm hoping to change that this year," Korda said.

Over the past two weeks, Korda focused on rest ahead of this event. She went back home after her major triumph and spent plenty of time on her couch, getting the needed nine to 10 hours of sleep a night to recuperate. Along with training and practicing, Korda hosted her new AJGA event, the Nelly Invitational in Bradenton, over the past weekend before attending the Met Gala on Monday. The busy schedule kept her mind away from the historic chance in front of her this week.

"If I'm being honest, I have not thought about it at all because I've had so much going on those two weeks," Korda said. "Then, obviously, Monday I had the Met, so haven't had too much time to think about it."

Korda trusts her new, simplified approach in trying to shake off her struggles in New Jersey. In the past, she arrived at a venue where she played poorly before and believed she needed to do extra work on top of practice rounds to perform better. Now, Korda trusts that her practice at home is enough and focuses on developing a game plan for the course ahead of the start of the tournament, which she has been working on since her first practice round Sunday.

"I'm really just trying to keep it one shot at time, see how it goes," Korda said. "This golf course is tough. It's very, very narrow off the tee. The rough is very penalizing. And it's wet this year, so it's even worse. So just not getting too ahead of myself and taking it a shot at a time.

"As boring as it sounds, or as many times as you're going to hear me say it, that's the motto and I'm going to stick to it."

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Nelly Korda ties LPGA record with fifth straight win while clinching second career major championship

The no. 1 player in the world rolled into the 2024 chevron championship on a hot streak and pulled through with a record-tying victory.

The Chevron Championship - Final Round

Nelly Korda made golf history Sunday winning her fifth straight LPGA event while simultaneously locking up the second major of her career. Korda won the 2024 Chevron Championship by two shots over Maja Stark and three shots over Natalie Coughlin and Brooke Henderson, continuing her amazing undefeated streak that dates back to the middle of January.

While Scottie Scheffler has been making headlines for his incredible level of play on the men's side, Korda is doing him one better on the women's side. Scheffler has won three of the last four events he's played and is seeking to go four of five on Sunday at the 2024 RBC Heritage.

In clinching her fifth straight victory, Korda now stands alongside Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) as the only golfers to accomplish such a feat on the LPGA Tour. She will have an opportunity to break the mark at her next event, which may come as soon as next week's LA Championship.

Korda led the first women's major of the year across most of a weekend that was put on hold amid inclement weather in Woodlands, Texas, just outside of Houston. She shot 68-69-69 over the first three rounds and seemed to absorb a run at the top of the leaderboard by a different player on every day. Sunday's run came from Stark, who birdied her last two holes to get to 11 under and apply a bit of pressure to Korda.

It was not easy. Korda hit her tee shot on the 15th into the water before escaping with bogey as her lead moved from four to three. That's the benefit of building four-shot leads early in a weekend; it gives one room to make a few mistakes coming down the stretch. With Stark ahead of her making birdies, Korda nearly hit the pin on No. 17 and then made a final birdie on No. 18 to clinch the victory.

🎯 pic.twitter.com/r4L82mPXzd — No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) April 21, 2024

"I can finally breathe now," she told NBC. "That back nine felt like the longest back nine of my entire life. It was a little bit of a grind on the back nine but happy to get the win."

"I was definitely starting to feel it on the back nine," she added, having made more bogeys on the back nine than she had made in the previous 27 holes combined. "The nerves setting in. It's a major. It's everything I've always wanted as a little girl -- to lift that major trophy. As I said, I can finally breathe now and just enjoy the moment because I was definitely really nervous. I feel sick to my stomach."

Korda captured her first major since the 2021 Women's PGA Championship. Since then, she had four top 10s but no wins.

It's been an extraordinary 2024 for the No. 1 player in the world, who basically put together a career's worth of achievements over the last couple of months. On Sunday, she brought home the top prize at the Chevron Championship, a purse increased 50% from last year to $7.9 million for the field.

"There's a key in the simplicity that I have when I play it," she said. "I honestly just take it a shot at a time, and we pick a game plan when we get to the golf course and we work and we stay in our own little bubble. It's been working so far. I feel like golf can get overcomplicated, and there's a key to the simplicity of it."

Rick Gehman, Kyle Porter, Patrick McDonald and Greg DuCharme discuss Scottie Scheffler's hold on the RBC Heritage, Nelly Korda's fifth straight victory and Miles Russell finishing top 25 as a 15 year old. Follow & listen to The First Cut on  Apple Podcasts  and  Spotify .

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Nelly Korda returns at Cognizant Founders Cup, eyeing historic sixth straight LPGA Tour win after break

Nelly korda picked up her fifth win in as many starts last month at the chevron championship.

Nelly Korda isn’t focused on what a win on Sunday afternoon in New Jersey would mean.

After two weeks off, and a trip to the Met Gala , Korda hasn’t had much time for it.

“If I’m being honest, I have not thought about it at all,” she said on Wednesday. “I’ve had so much going on those two weeks.”

Korda, the top-ranked women's golfer in the world, will go for a sixth win in as many starts this week at the Cognizant Founders Cup. That would set an LPGA Tour record.

Korda has won five straight times on Tour, which is something only two other players in history have accomplished. Her fifth win, a two-shot victory at the Chevron Championship last month, marked the second major championship win of her career. Annika Sorenstam was the last Tour player to win five times in five starts back during the 2004-05 season.

Korda's first win during the historic stretch came at the LPGA Drive On Championship in January. She then won three times in as many weeks, and then had just a week off before her win at the Chevron Championship in Houston. She was going to compete in the JM Eagle LA Championship immediately after the major, but she withdrew. Korda said she was “definitely feeling exhausted.”

She’s now had two weeks off, which was much-needed.

“I definitely spent a good bit of time with my couch the first couple days. Turned on the TV. Just it was more about sleep the first couple days,” she said. “I just felt like I just mentally really needed it. I was so mentally tired going through all those situations and high pressure moments.
“And then that's one of the reasons why I really needed two weeks. I feel like when you get one week you kind of, not that you feel guilty to take more days off than you're training, but I just needed to work my game as well. Two weeks really helped me mentally rest up.”

Though she’s on an incredible tear, Korda struggled last season in the same event at Upper Montclair Country Club. She missed the cut at last year’s tournament, and then missed the cut the following week at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in New Jersey.

So, at least in the early rounds, Korda is trying to keep it as simple as possible.

“My track record hasn’t been the greatest in New Jersey. … I’m really just trying to keep it one shot at a time, see how it goes. This golf course is tough. It's very, very narrow off the tee. The rough is very penalizing. And it's wet this year, so it's even worse.
“So just not getting too ahead of myself and taking it a shot at a time. As boring as it sounds or as many times as you're going to hear me say it, that's the motto and I'm going to stick to it.”

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Nelly Korda is dominating the LPGA Tour and it's not even close

lpga tour nelly korda

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PGA Tour star Scottie Scheffler , who won his second green jacket at the Masters last week, isn't the only world No. 1 golfer dominating a professional tour right now.

Nelly Korda , No. 1 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking, has won in four consecutive starts on the LPGA Tour, becoming the first golfer since Lorena Ochoa in 2008 to accomplish the feat. Korda is the first American golfer since Kathy Whitworth in 1969 to capture victories in four of her first five LPGA starts in a season.

At this week's Chevron Championship in The Woodlands, Texas, the first major championship of the season in women's professional golf, Korda will attempt to become only the third golfer in LPGA Tour history to win in five consecutive starts -- Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sörenstam (2004-05) were the others.

Even Scheffler, who captured his first nine PGA Tour victories since February 2022 and has already won three times this season, isn't winning at Korda's current pace.

Korda, 25, said she has been inspired by Scheffler's run the past three seasons.

"I mean, gosh, I don't think anyone can ever say anything bad about Scottie," Korda said. "I love his morals, I love his attitude out there. I just love the way he goes about his business. He inspires so many around him, including myself.

"So yeah, obviously, as he even said, he wants to win every tournament he tees it up in. That's every girl that's out here competing, too. I think that you just have to go about your business. You can get lost in the articles, lost in the expectations, but I think if you just stick to your true self, I feel like you can live in your own bubble and enjoy it a lot more."

Korda has long been considered one of the best players in golf. She has won 12 times on the LPGA Tour and three times in Europe. In 2021, Korda won four tournaments, including her first major at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club. Later that summer in Tokyo, she became the first American women's golfer to win a gold medal in the Olympics since Margaret Abbott in 1900.

Following that breakthrough season, Korda was diagnosed with a blood clot in her left arm and needed surgery in April 2022. She battled COVID-19 earlier that year and ended up missing about four months of the season. Last year, she was sidelined for about a month because of a lower-back injury and never regained her form. She didn't win in 2023, her first campaign in three years without a victory.

"Yeah, in 2021 I went on a run, and then in 2022 and 2023 golf really humbled me," Korda said. "I think [in] sports, there are ups and downs. Every athlete goes through the roller coaster, and that is what makes the sport so great. You mature and grow so much and learn more about yourself. You never take these weeks for granted."

What has made Korda's current streak so impressive is the many ways in which she has won this season.

"Yeah, I don't think I can put a scale to what she's accomplished," LPGA pro Rose Zhang said. "That's honestly just such an incredible feat. There is only one Nelly Korda, and I think she really shows how she's the best right now in the game. Even growing up I've always watched her play. There was obviously something special about her. So to see her do all that she's done, especially the last four events, it's been really inspiring. It's so difficult and it's so rare."

After tying for 16th in the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 21, Korda won the next week at the LPGA Drive On Championship in Bradenton, Florida. She came back from a 3-stroke deficit by carding an eagle and birdie on the final two holes to force a playoff. She defeated Lydia Ko on the second playoff hole to win in her hometown.

Korda skipped the LPGA Tour's Asian swing and took seven weeks off from competition. When she returned in late March, she battled Augusta National-like winds and chilly temperatures on the West Coast at the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship. Korda made bogeys on her last two holes to fall into a playoff, in which she beat Ryann O'Toole on the first extra hole with a 12-foot birdie. Korda returned to No. 1 in the world for the sixth time in her career.

The next week at the Ford Championship presented by KCC in Gilbert, Arizona, Korda posted a 7-under 65 in the final round -- in steady rain no less -- to win her third straight tournament by 2 strokes. She became the first American women's golfer to get to three victories before April 1 since JoAnne Carner in 1980.

Two weeks ago at the T-Mobile Match Play presented by MGM Rewards in Las Vegas, Korda struggled early in the 54-hole stroke play competition to even advance to the match-play knockout rounds. She carded a 1-over 73 in each of the first two rounds before rallying for a 3-under 69 in the final round. She beat Angel Yin and Narin An to advance to a championship match against Ireland's Leona Maguire . Korda took four of the first seven holes and won the match 4 and 3 .

"This is definitely one of the best stretches I think a player has played in my 11 years on tour," said Ko, a 20-time winner on the LPGA Tour. "For her to win the second event of the year and have eight weeks off and win the next three, I was like, 'Man, I shouldn't have played, all playing for second place.'"

Korda's ballstriking has been on another level during her winning streak. Among golfers with at least 30 rounds played, she ranks first on the LPGA in strokes gained: total (2.76) and tee to green (2.21) and second around the green (.78). She is 10th off the tee (.76) and 17th in approach (.93).

Her putting isn't statistically as good (she ranks 46th in strokes gained on the greens) but she has made plenty of clutch putts to win.

"I'm not surprised, I will tell you that," U.S. Solheim Cup team captain Stacy Lewis said. "It's very impressive. Four very different golf courses, and the three weeks in a row I think was the most impressive. The amount of energy it takes to do that, I thought you would've maybe seen a little drop in play at match play just getting a little bit more tired.

"But the ballstriking has always been so good for her. Short game gets a little better, the confidence to be in that position. I think that's what you're seeing more now. ... I knew it was just going to be a matter of time."

Some of the most accomplished PGA Tour stars have envied Korda's silky-smooth and seemingly effortless swing.

When she competed with PGA Tour players at the QBE Shootout in Naples, Florida, in December 2022, Kevin Kisner called her the "Tiger Woods of the LPGA Tour." After watching her play, Max Homa said, "I don't know how she does not win every week."

At the PNC Championship, another exhibition that teams pros with their parents or children, Jordan Spieth said he told his father, Shawn, to "swing like Nelly."

"It's like playing with Adam Scott ," Spieth said, comparing Korda to the 2013 Masters champion, who is known for his nearly flawless swing.

In a perfect world, young golfers everywhere would be trying to "swing like Nelly"-- just like they're now trying to make 3-pointers like former Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark , whose sharp-shooting the past three seasons brought record TV ratings to the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

The LPGA is hoping that Korda's success and the growing popularity of women's sports can help it expand. The final two rounds of the Chevron Championship were broadcast on NBC for the first time last year and coverage will extend from four hours to six this year. There's also 40 hours of coverage of featured groups on ESPN+. Other non-major tournaments are broadcast on tape delay or only on streaming.

"I feel like we just need a stage," Korda said. "We need to be put on TV. I feel like when it's tape delay or anything like that, that hurts our game. Women's sports just needs a stage. If we have a stage we can show up and perform and show people what we're all about."

LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan recognizes the unique opportunity her tour must take advantage of. During a news conference at the Chevron Championship on Tuesday, she noted that the LPGA didn't have a marketing department not long ago.

Now, it has four or five people helping publicize the tour's stars. She said weekly social engagement numbers have improved from about four million a week in 2022 to about 11.6 million this year. The LPGA will roll out a new website this fall.

Along with the four remaining major championships and the upcoming Olympics in Paris and another Solheim Cup in Gainesville, Virginia, later this summer, Korda will have plenty of opportunities in the spotlight.

"We always talk about exposure and investment," Marcoux Samaan said. "Those are the things we need right now. There is no doubt that the product is world class. I mean, from Nelly Korda to Lilia [Vu] to Lydia, just down the leaderboard, these are the very best women in the world. So our job is to make sure people know who they are and make sure people can see them."

Whether Korda knows it or not, part of that burden falls on her shoulders, according to Lewis.

"I think Nelly does have a responsibility, and she probably doesn't always want it, just knowing her," Lewis said. "But it's saying, yes. Continuing to play great golf though is No. 1. That's what helps our tour the most is her playing great golf. I would tell her to remember that. I would tell her to do as much extra stuff as you can for us."

At times, Korda has been a reluctant superstar. This week, she has talked often about staying in her "bubble" to avoid distractions, even if she understands her power to influence the next generation of women's golfers. If Korda keeps winning, perhaps it won't be too long before young girls are trying to "swing it like Nelly" around the world.

"It's an inspiration," Korda said. "I'm hopefully inspiring the next generation and hopefully it promotes the game. Hopefully we continue to climb up. I just hope I show people how much I enjoy being out here week in and week out competing against all the girls, practicing, and hopefully that drives more attention to us.

"Listen, I feel like for me, the way that I promote the game is just the way I am. I'm very true to myself. I'm never going to do something I'm not really comfortable with. Obviously, I love seeing all the kids and I love promoting the game. I mean, there is nothing that I enjoy more. I'm always going to stay true to myself, and hopefully that way I do promote the game."

Nelly Korda roars back into contention in quest for historic sixth straight LPGA Tour victory

Nelly Korda of the United States plays her shot from the seventh tee during the first round of the Cognizant Founders Cup on Friday.

CLIFTON, N.J. — Nelly Korda has no intention of letting anyone run away with the Cognizant Founders Cup and end her bid to become the first player to win six straight LPGA Tour tournaments.

Hear that, Rose Zhang and Madelene Sagstrom?

Faced with a 10-stroke deficit starting her second round Friday in the event that honors the tour’s founding members, Korda shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 in cold, damp conditions to move into third place, four shots behind leaders Zhang and Sagstrom with 36 holes to play.

The round matched the best of the day, which Sagstrom established less than an hour earlier in the afternoon. Zhang, who tied Sagstrom’s tournament record with a 63 on Thursday, had a 68 playing in the morning.

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The 20-year-old Zhang and the 31-year-old Swede, who are tied at 13-under 131 at Upper Montclair Country Club, each have won once on the LPGA Tour. After failing to win in in first start, the 25-year-old Korda has done nothing but win, with her current run of five tying Hall of Famers Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam for the tour record.

Korda had six birdies, capped with a 6-footer at the par-4 18th. Her four-shot deficit at the halfway point isn’t bad. She trailed by five shots at the Seri Pak Championship, by four at the Ford Championship, and six strokes in the T-Mobile Match Play where the field was cut after the third round.

“I putted really well today,” said Korda, who started when Zhang finished and didn’t know how much ground she had to make up. “Even when I didn’t hit it close, my putts just scared the hole. Overall very pleased with how I played today and hopefully I can take that into the next 36 holes.”

Zhang followed a tournament record-tying opening round of 63 with a morning-best 68 Friday. The two-time NCAA champion has not won since capturing the Mizuho Americas Open in her professional debut a year ago last year.

“It’s really just me trying to stay as composed as possible,” said Zhang, who had five birdies and her first bogey. “I’m really enjoying it and for the most part I think there is always learning curves. So no matter what happens the next two days, I’m going to take it all in.”

Zhang, who finished her Stanford degree after playing in the first tournament of the season, is playing in her seventh event of the year. She has missed two cuts and and finished no better than fifth in the other four.

Sagstrom, who finished third here two years ago and 10th last year, had seven birdies, an eagle, a bogey, and a double bogey in tying for the lead. Despite her success here, the Swede has to be considered the long shot among the leaders.

“This [is] the position everyone wants to be in,” she said. “You want to be up on the leaderboard. You want to play against the best players. You want your game to be the best every week. If not, be considered one of the best players in the world. These are the reasons I play. This is what everyone is trying to do. It’s a good position to be in.”

Yan Liu of China was fourth at 138, one shot ahead of Mel Reid of England, who is at minus 5. Lydia Ko, who needs a win to qualify for the Hall of Fame, was 4 under along with a group that 2022 winner Minjee Lee and Hannah Green, a two-time winner this year. Defending champion Jin Young Ko was at 3 under.

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Korda shoots 66 to keep bid alive for 6th straight LPGA Tour win. She trails Zhang, Sagstrom by 4

Nelly Korda hits off the 12th tee during the first round of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup golf tournament, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Clifton, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Nelly Korda hits off the 12th tee during the first round of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup golf tournament, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Clifton, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Nelly Korda hits off the fourth tee during the first round of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup golf tournament, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Clifton, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Rose Zhang hits off the 10th tee during the first round of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup golf tournament, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Clifton, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Rose Zhang looks over the 10th green during the first round of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup golf tournament, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Clifton, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Madelene Sagstrom, of Sweden, hits out of the rough on the second hole during the first round of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup golf tournament, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Clifton, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Mary Liu, of China, waves after her putt on the first hole during the first round of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup golf tournament, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Clifton, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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CLIFTON, N.J. (AP) — Nelly Korda has no intention of letting anyone run away with the Cognizant Founders Cup and end her bid to become the first player to win six straight LPGA Tour tournaments.

Hear that Rose Zhang and Madelene Sagstrom.

Faced with a 10-stroke deficit starting her second round Friday in the event that honors the tour’s founding members, Korda shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 in cold, damp conditions to move into third place, four shots behind leaders Zhang and Sagstrom with 36 holes to play.

The round matched the best of the day, which Sagstrom established less than an hour earlier in the afternoon. Zhang, who tied Sagstrom’s tournament record with a 63 on Thursday, had a 68 playing in the morning.

The 20-year-old Zhang and the 31-year-old Swede, who are tied at 13-under 131 on the Upper Montclair Country Club, each have won once on the LPGA Tour. After failing to win in in her first start, the 25-year-old Korda has done nothing but win, with the current run of five tying Hall of Famers Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam for the tour record.

Korda had six birdies, capped with a roughly 6-footer at the par-4 18th. Her four-shot deficit at the halfway point isn’t bad. She trailed by five shots at the Seri Pak Championship, by four at the Ford Championship and six strokes in the T-Mobile Match Play where the field was cut after the third round.

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, waves after making a putt on the ninth hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt York)

“I putted really well today,” said Korda, who started when Zhang finished and didn’t know how much ground she had to make up. “Even when I didn’t hit it close, my putts just scared the hole. Overall, very pleased with how I played today and hopefully I can take that into the next 36 holes.”

Zhang, a two-time NCAA champion at Stanford, won the Mizuho Americas Open in her professional debut a year ago.

“”It’s really just me trying to stay as composed as possible,” said Zhang, who had five birdies and her first bogey. “I’m really enjoying it and for the most part, I think there is always learning curves. So no matter what happens the next two days, I’m going to take it all in.”

Zhang, who finished her college degree after playing in the first tournament of the season, is playing in her seventh event of the year. She has missed two cuts and and finished no better than fifth in the other four.

Sagstrom, who finished third here two years ago and 10th last year, had seven birdies, an eagle, a bogey and a double bogey in tying for the lead. Despite her success here, the Swede has to be considered the long shot among the leaders.

“This the position everyone wants to be in,” she said. “You want to be up on the leaderboard. You want to play against the best players. You want your game to be the best every week. If not, be considered one of the best players in the world. These are the reasons I play. This is what everyone is trying to do. It’s a good position to be in.”

Yan Liu of China was fourth at 138, one shot ahead of Mel Reid of England, who was at 5 under. Lydia Ko, who needs a win to qualify for the Hall of Fame, was 4 under along with a group that included 2022 winner Minjee Lee and Hannah Green, a two-time winner this year. Defending champion Jin Young Ko was at 3 under.

AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

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Nelly Korda of the United States plays a shot from a bunker on the ninth hole during the third round of the Cognizant Founders Cup at Upper Montclair Country Club on Saturday afternoon.

Korda’s bid for record sixth straight LPGA win dashed by Sagstrom, Zhang

  • Sagstrom and Zhang break free from field at Founders Cup
  • Korda, 25 ,was bidding for record sixth straight LPGA win

Madelene Sagstrom and Rose Zhang left Nelly Korda and everyone else way behind Saturday in the Cognizant Founders Cup.

Trying to win a record sixth straight LPGA Tour event, Korda was 11 shots behind Sagstrom and 10 back of two-time NCAA champion Zhang with a round left at Upper Montclair Country Club.

After months of near-perfect play, Korda inexplicably hit bad drives, found bunkers from the fairway and missed short putts. She shot a 1-over 73.

Sagstrom, who has played well on this course the last three years, had a 66 to get to 19-under 197. Zhang, who won in her professional debut in New Jersey state a year ago, had a 67 after lipping out on a short birdie putt at No 18.

Unless something unepected happens, one of them will win their second LPGA Tour title. The 31-year-old Sagstrom has not won since 2020. The Swede had a bogey-free round of six birdies, highlighted by three in row on the last three holes on the front nine.

The 20-year-old Zhang, who won the Mizuho Americas Open in Jersey City last year, had seven birdies and two bogeys.

Korda was tied for third at 8 under with Sei Young Kim of South Korea and Gabriela Ruffels of Australia, who each shot 67.

The 25-year-old Korda had three birdies and four bogeys, the first coming on the opening hole after finding a bunker from the fairway.

The LPGA Tour record for largest deficit overcome in winning a tournament is 10 shots. It has been done three times with Mickey Wright (1964). Annika Sorenstam (2001) and Louise Friberg (2008).

Korda came into the tournament having taken two weeks off after winning the Chevron Championship. It was her fifth straight title and tied her with Hall of Famers Sorenstam (2004-05) and Nancy Lopez (1978) for the tour’s longest winning streak.

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