Nelly Korda competes at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 7, 2021 in Kawagoe, Japan.
Nelly Korda is going to find it difficult to top this year.
The golfer was calm and collected on the course at Kasumigaseki Country Club on Saturday despite the pressure around her. She came to win Olympic gold, and that’s exactly what she did.
Korda, 23, overcame a double bogey on the seventh hole and a three-way tie to once again rise to the top of the leaderboard and finish with a 2-under-par 69 and a 17-under tournament to win the title in Tokyo. She’s the first golfer ever, man or woman, to win a major championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same year, and gives the U.S. the sweep following Xander Schauffele’s victory.
She also is the first American woman to win Olympic gold in golf since Margaret Abbott in 1900.
.@NellyKorda is an Olympic Champion. #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/0Pw8QRDTPG— Team USA (@TeamUSA) August 7, 2021
“Being an Olympian is already special but being a gold medalist is amazing,” she said afterward. “I don’t even have words for it. It’s truly special.”
Korda, from Bradenton, Florida, won the Women’s PGA Championship in June to rise to the top of the world rankings. She’d won three of her last four tournaments coming into Tokyo.
“I mean, not necessarily surprised, I would just say that this is like a dream season,” said her older sister, Jessica Korda, who also competed and finished 15th in the Olympic tournament. “This is what you would expect out of (South Korea’s) Inbee Park. This is almost legend status that you would get on just as a golfer period, male or female. This is just a dream season to have. I hope that it keeps continuing because it's so much fun to watch it.”
Korda also tied an Olympic record for lowest round en route to gold with a 9-under par-62 in the second round. She led by three shots going into the final round.
The double bogey on No. 7 landed her in a tie with 2016 silver medalist Lydia Ko of New Zealand and India’s Aditi Ashok, but Korda birdied the eighth, ninth and tenth holes to reassert her position.
“I’ve always been a fighter; I never back down,” she said afterward. “I’ll fight till the end and I showed that today.”
The final round was briefly interrupted by a storm while Korda and Japan’s Mone Inami were finishing the 17th hole. The winner wasn’t determined until 18, where Korda clinched the victory and left the others to battle it out for silver and bronze.
“I got a little emotional stepping onto the stage,” Korda said. “It’s surreal. I’m very happy with how this week went.”
Danielle Kang finished 20th and Lexi Thompson 33rd to round out the four-person U.S. team.
Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020? Visit TeamUSA.org/Tokyo2020 to view the medal table, results and competition schedule.