20 June 2021: On moving day at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, Nelly Korda had a move for the ages.
The four-time LPGA Tour champion recorded 11 birdies en route to a 10-under par 62. It matches the tournament record score to par and sets a career-best mark. Korda also adds her name to the short list of players who have carded 11 birdies in a round, tied for the second most in LPGA Tour history behind only Annika Sorenstam’s 13 from her famed 59 in 2001.
“You don’t take these days for granted,” said Korda, who bested Lexi Thompson’s 54-hole tournament scoring record by three shots at -20 overall. “Any day you get to make a move up the leaderboard is a good day. Definitely a big confidence boost after missing the cut at the U.S. [Women’s] Open.”
Her 54-hole score (196) matches a career-best total. It gives Korda a three-shot advantage with 18 holes to play at Blythefield Country Club.
“I like this golf course a lot,” Korda said. “Finished inside the top-10 the last time we were here [in 2019] so I feel comfortable out here. I had short clubs in [today] which was nice. I was hitting fairways, hitting it close. When you have putts inside 10 feet, you’re bound to roll one or two in.”
Leona Maguire, the 36-hole leader, managed a 2-under par 70 after an early bogey at the par-3 7th. She heads into the final round three shots back, the same margin she led by entering the day.
“I played pretty well from tee to green, gave myself a lot of chances,” said Maguire. “Just didn’t hole any putts, couldn’t really get it going. You have to hole putts around here to make birdies. I didn’t really do that. Didn’t take advantage of the par-5s enough. A little bit of a frustrating day, but I hung in there.
“All the pressure is on Nelly. Everybody expects Nelly to win tomorrow. She’s ranked No. 4 in the world, nobody expects me to do anything tomorrow. I’ve really got nothing to lose.”
Swede Madelene Sagstrom turned in a bogey-free 65 and is 16-under overall. She rounds out Sunday’s final grouping off No. 1 tee at 11:05 a.m. ET. Her performance included four straight birdies from Nos. 2-5.
“I have been hitting the ball quite well all week, giving myself chances and I really got the putter going,” said Sagstrom, who recorded 11 birdies in the third round of the 2021 Kia Classic to shoot 8-under 64. “I kind of saw the hole grow and grow and grow, and I was like, ‘Okay, let’s keep going.’ I have always been able to make a lot of birdies, but I tend to put a few too many other colors on the scorecard. It is critical [to eliminate bogeys] because here, when you make a bogey, you lose against the field.”
Australian Su Oh trails Korda by five shots and sits solo fourth. Four players share fifth including a pair of major champions, Georgia Hall and Anna Nordqvist. The top-8 players represent five different countries on the Meijer LPGA Classic leaderboard entering the final round.
Returning to action for the first time since the LA Open where she finished T39, Aditi Ashok shot 77-76 to miss the cut.