Nelly Korda still tops the leaderboard heading into the final day of Women's Olympic golf, but Aditi Ashok remains in contention for the gold medal
Nelly Korda Retains Olympic Lead Amid Pressure From Aditi Ashok
Nelly Korda has retained her lead in the Women’s Olympic golf competition at Kasumigaseki Country Club following the third round of the tournament, but Aditi Ashok is mounting a surprise challenge on the World No.1 for the gold medal.
Korda, who posted a incredible nine-under 62 in the second-round, is currently 15-under heading into the final round of the Olympics, though she only managed 69 in the third round.
Meanwhile, India’s Aditi Ashok scored 68 in round three to move into second place and 12-under, applying pressure to Korda’s three shot lead.
The American had hoped to distance herself from the field heading into the final round, but after she made three early birdies in the round, a bogey on hole eight saw her par the remaining holes.
“I feel like that’s kind of the goal going into every round is to play the best I possibly can and maybe get a comfortable lead,” said Korda.
“But that’s the thing about golf, once you get a little too comfortable it humbles you when you start making mistakes and you get ahead of yourself.
“It was very upsetting that I bogeyed a par-5, there’s something inside of me when I bogey a par-5 that I just get so frustrated about because I shouldn’t be doing that”.
Korda played in the same group as Ashok and Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen in round three, and afterwards the Indian revealed that she had tested positive for Covid-19 in May and June, resulting in a loss of around 15 yards off the tee.
“I do think it took a little bit of strength out of me,” said Ashok, “I was never this short.
“I was always short but not like 50 behind Nelly and 50 behind Nanna.”
Despite this, Ashok still managed to hit 17 of the 18 greens in round three, four more than Korda achieved.
According to Korda, Ashok’s putting isn’t too bad either.
“She’s a really solid putter,” said Korda after they played together.
“She rolls it really nicely and there’s this kind of like confidence she has on the putting green, she has some kind of swag and she owns it.”
Competition for the bronze medal is extremely tight too, with four players in T3, all 10-under: 2016 silver medallist Lydia Ko from New Zealand, Japan’s Mone Inami, Australia’s Hannah Green, and Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen.
Day one leader Madelene Sagstrom is still in contention for a medal, as she is eight-under heading into the final round, alongside Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Nasa Hataoka.
The final round will see play begin from the first and tenth tees at 6:30am (JST) once again, in order to try and beat predicted heavy rains from a tropical storm headed toward Japan.
Should the stormy weather leave the course unplayable, then the final round could move to Sunday, or even end the tournament as a 54-hole event.