Korda in contention as heat wreaks havoc on Olympics women’s golf – sports


Published on 04 Aug 2021 1:05 p.m.

Korda in contention as heat wreaks havoc on women’s Olympics golf

KAWAGOE (AFP) – World number one Nelly Korda allowed a 67 to be just one shot ahead on Wednesday in a first round played in scorching temperatures at the women’s Olympic golf tournament that resulted in the retirement of the American star Lexi Thompson’s shopping cart due to heatstroke.

Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom has a slim lead to five below par after a day of attrition in the heat and humidity at Kasumigaseki Country Club where the thermometer rose above 36 degrees Celsius.

“I was hitting the ball well but not very well,” said world number 75 Sagstrom of 66 on the par-71 track. “My little game was my savior.”

Thompson admitted that she herself had been ill before she suffered the blow of losing her junior, Jack Fulghum, on the last nine.

“I started the day with a sore throat… and then with my younger brother unable to finish, it’s difficult,” said Thompson, the world number 12 who shot a par 72.

At the 15th hole, a sick Fulghum asked Thompson, “Do I look white to you?” then had to sit down to wait for medical attention.

United States Golf Coach Donna Wilkins stepped in to carry Thompson’s bag for the final holes.

“I mean, I was so worried about him. I’m from Florida and I’m still not used to that kind of heat,” Thompson said.

“I just hope he’s okay and getting the hydration he needs and the nutrients he needs for the next few days. If not, I’ll find something else. I just want him to be healthy.”

“I felt dizzy”

American Korda had six birdies in her four-under-par and said it was important to stay hydrated as the sun beat relentlessly.

“I think the mental aspect is probably the hardest part, just because you have to hydrate and lose it a bit,” said the current US PGA Champion.

“Like when I was taking bullets, I really felt a little dizzy. But I held onto it, made sure to drink plenty of electrolytes too.”

18-year-old Indian Aditi Ashok also led the first round standings in Rio five years ago, when she was the youngest player on the pitch.

“Last time I was a rookie, basically, and I had just finished my high school exams, and then I was at the Olympics two months later,” she said.

“Just seeing the effect this has had on golf in India was inspiring and that’s what motivated me for this one too.”

Park In-bee of South Korea got off to a strong start in his gold medal defense scoring two under 69 as just four shots covered the top 23 on a packed standings.

Park got off to a quick start in a group made up of fellow Rio medalists Lydia Ko (silver) and Feng Shanshan (bronze).

New Zealander Lydia Ko returned an Under-70 to tie for 16th, while China’s Feng, who has indicated she could withdraw from the LPGA Tour after the Games, struggled to three-over 74.

World number two Ko Jin-young of South Korea fought back after a sloppy start with four birdies on five holes from 13th to three under par, a 68 that left him only two out.

“I missed a few shots on the first nine, but had a great run,” said Ko Jin-young. “A nice finish on the last nine. So I’m happy.”

Matilda Castren of Finland and Carlota Ciganda of Spain also shot 68 to tie for fourth with Ko Jin-young.

An elite field of 60 players containing all of the world’s top 10 and 16 of the top 20 compete on the same course which saw some thrilling drama in the men’s event last week, culminating in an astonishing seven-a-side elimination. for the bronze medal.

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