The dictatorship of Nelly Korda in world golf

In the realm of men's golf, Scottie Scheffler emerges as a serious threat to dominate the elite

by Andrea Gussoni
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The dictatorship of Nelly Korda in world golf
© Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images Sport

In the realm of men's golf, Scottie Scheffler emerges as a serious threat to dominate the elite. However, in the women's arena, Nelly Korda has already established her own authoritative regime. The American, currently ranked number one in the world, is the player of the moment, as evidenced once again this Sunday by her fifth consecutive victory – the most significant triumph during this remarkable streak.

At just 25 years old, Korda clinched the Chevron Championship, the first major of the season and her second overall. No one can seem to challenge the Floridian, who became the third golfer in LPGA Tour history to win five times in a row.

Previous achievers of this feat include Nancy Lopez in 1978 and Annika Sorenstam between 2004 and 2005, now joined by the daughter of the renowned former Czech tennis player.

Nelly Korda, statements

"Everyone against Nelly Korda" read the headline of this medium ahead of the Chevron Championship at The Club at Carlton Woods, in The Woodlands, Texas, United States.

Yet, none of her 132 rivals could best her. Korda's current form is outstanding, with a sense of invincibility rarely seen in the volatile sport of golf. "Now the rest of us play to see who finishes second," remarked New Zealander Lydia Ko, words that accurately reflect Nelly's dominance.

Towards the end of the previous season, already a superstar with an Olympic gold medal and a major title (2021 Women’s PGA Championship) to her name, Korda began working with Eric Dietrich. Under his guidance, she has become an unstoppable force.

The putting guru addressed Korda's main weakness, altering her grip and putter. From that point on, success has been virtually guaranteed. LPGA Drive On, Fir Hills Seri Park, Ford Championship, and T-Mobile Match Play were the four victories for Nelly since 2024 began, and this Sunday marked her fifth at the Chevron Championship.

In a marathon day where she had to complete the remaining seven holes of the third round, suspended on Saturday due to rain, plus the 18 holes of the final round, Korda overcame a one-shot deficit to Thai player Atthaya Thitikul, carding a fourth round of 69 strokes – her third consecutive -3 – for a total of -13.

After a superb first ten holes, with four birdies and no blemishes, Korda faced adversity, particularly at the 15th hole where she found the water, resulting in a bogey, and the 16th where she struggled to secure a par. During her toughest moments ("the last nine holes were the longest of my life," she admitted later), she responded with a remarkable shot on the 17th, narrowly missing a hole-in-one.

Not even the final birdie from Sweden's Maja Stark, aided by coach Hans Larson, who also coaches Ludvig Aberg, unsettled Korda, who finished with a birdie on the 18th, rendering Stark's final score of -11 insufficient. "After all, I can finally breathe; the last nine holes were the longest of my life.

I'm very happy to get the victory. There were nerves; it's a major, everything I've wanted since I was a child, and now I can finally enjoy the moment," commented a relieved Korda after her win. Surprisingly, when asked about the secret to her historic streak, she attributed it to simplicity.

"There's a key in simplicity, playing shot by shot, and staying in my bubble; it's working. Sometimes golf overcomplicates things," explained Nelly, extending her lead at the top of the world rankings and pocketing $1.2 million (€1.12 million) from an increasing prize pool compared to 2023.

Meanwhile, Carlota Ciganda came close to contending for her first major victory, although the 75 strokes on the first day weighed heavily on the Navarrese golfer's scorecard. Despite this setback, Ciganda's recovery was outstanding, climbing the leaderboard first to make the cut and then securing her eleventh top-10 finish in majors.

With a final round of 70 strokes, two under the par at The Woodlands, Carlota finished in sixth place, providing great momentum heading into the remaining four majors of the year. If it hadn't been for that first day... the 33-year-old player, who will have another opportunity to secure Spain's first women's major in a month at the US Women’s Open, will surely reflect on.

Nelly Korda Scottie Scheffler
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