With a bogey-free, 5-under par 67 in the first round of the LPGA Drive On Championship presented by Volvik at Golden Ocala, Nelly Korda has shot under par in nine straight rounds to open the 2021 season, and owns 10 consecutive under-par rounds dating back to the 2020 CME Group Tour Championship.
Coming off her fourth career victory and first on American soil last week at Gainbridge LPGA, Korda is well aware of the difficulty in winning back-to-back tournaments on the LPGA Tour. As the 18-hole co-leader at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, she is positioned nicely for a run at a second-straight victory.
“I’m more about consistency,” said Korda, who hit 12 greens in regulation this afternoon and 10 of 14 fairways. “I know there are going to be bad rounds and you can’t play perfect every single round, but the more you minimize your mistakes and more consistent you get with your swing, figuring out what works for you, the better.”
She continues. “I told my caddie [Jason McDede] that the people who win back-to-back events, props to them. It is so mentally exhausting,” said Korda, who is aiming to become the first back-to-back champion on the LPGA Tour since Danielle Kang won the LPGA Drive On Championship—Inverness and Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana last August. “I just take it one week at a time. Small goals eventually build to your big goals.”
Korda, who is third in the world rankings, was part of a star-studded featured group that included her older sister, Jessica, who carded a 69; and Jin Young Ko, the No. 1 player in women’s golf who didn’t play well with a 75, -3 over par.
The 25-year-old South Korean shot a 40 on the back nine and wound up with her highest score in an opening round on the LPGA Tour since she carded a 77 at Hazeltine at the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
So far, the 2021 LPGA Tour season has been nothing but the Kordas.
Jessica Korda won a playoff to start the LPGA season at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. Nelly Korda had a three-shot victory last week in the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona.
Jessica Korda had six birdies, but she had to rally after taking a double bogey on the par-3 11th hole that left her 2 over for the round. She closed with four birdies over the last seven holes.
COURTESY LPGA COMMUNICATIONS