Former world number one Nelly Korda survived a “little oopsy” to card a four-under-par 68, four strokes behind surprise leader Elizabeth Szokol, after the first round of the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore on Thursday.
Olympic champion Korda was in a tie for third place after she managed to scramble a par following a wayward tee shot on the short fourth hole and stay in touch with Szokol. Korda’s fellow American, who is ranked 153 in the world, shot a superb eight-under-par 64 at Sentosa Golf Club.
The 2021 US Women’s Open champion, Japan’s Yuka Saso, was lying second, three shots back, after a 67 at the $1.8 million LPGA event.
“I played really solid,” said Korda, who is ranked second in the world and was coming off a tie for sixth place at LPGA Thailand last weekend. “I kind of had one little oopsy, and that was on the par three.”
Szokol put daylight between herself and a star-studded field containing the top five in the world and 18 of the top 20.
Szokol opened with a bogey at the 10th, her first hole, but from there never looked back, carding seven birdies and an eagle to surge to the top of the leaderboard.
“It’s great. I’m really happy about the start,” said Szokol, who is on the comeback trail after sitting out the second half of last season with a herniated disc in her back.—AFP