EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (TBEN) – World No.1 Nelly Korda started her bid for a second major title badly, posting a score of 3 out of 74 in her first round at the Evian Championship on Thursday.
The 22-year-old American, who won the PGA Women’s KPMG Championship last month to move up to No.1, had five bogeys and only managed her second birdie on the 17th hole.
Meanwhile, defending champion Jin Young Ko did a little better, shooting a 1-over 72. Ko had five bogeys and birdieed at holes 6, 7, 9 and 18.
Korda is a six-time LPGA winner and the first American to No. 1 in the women’s world rankings since Stacy Lewis in 2014.
The great pursuer comes from a great sporting family.
Her older sister, Jessica, was also playing in Evian on Thursday.
Younger brother Sebastian is among the best young players on the ATP tennis circuit and ranked 47th.
Their father is Czech Petr Korda, a former No.2 ranked tennis player who won the Australian Open in 1998.
Their mother, Regina Rajchrtova, also played professional tennis, competing for then Czechoslovakia in the 1988 Olympics and twice reaching the fourth round of the US Open.
Ko is ranked No.2 after losing first place to Korda, who won the Volunteers of America Classic three weeks ago for his first victory this year on the LPGA Tour and eighth overall on the LPGA.
She won at Evian in 2019 and the event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I saw my picture all over the place, so I was like ‘Wow, that was only two years ago, but I feel like it was five years ago,'” said Ko, who won her first major earlier in 2019 at ANA Inspiration.
She started shortly after 8 a.m. with former champions Anna Nordqvist (2017) and Angela Stanford (2018).
Stanford had a 1-under 70 and Nordqvist held par (71).
Seven-time winner Inbee Park was also in action. The third Park is chasing the only major she did not win. She won Evian in 2012, but that was the year before she came of age and Park has not moved past eighth place since achieving that status.
The picturesque Evian Resort Golf Club, with its idyllic setting, is a firm favorite among players, with a total prize pool of $ 4,500,000.
More TBEN sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports