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nelly korda pga championship

The Slam: The hottest player on the planet is now a major champion

Nelly Korda flirts with breaking records at the Women’s PGA Championship, while Viktor Hovland made history on the European Tour. Alex Perry wraps up the week’s action in The Slam

 

Hello. Welcome to this week’s edition of the Slam. Shall we start with Nelly Korda?

While you were watching Jon Rahm get over the line at last week’s US Open, the younger Korda sister was winning her fifth LPGA Tour title at the Meijer Classic.

Seven days later, she has her sixth and maiden major of her own after she cruised to a three-shot victory at the Women’s PGA Championship.

A tap-in eagle set Korda on her way early on the final day at Atlanta Athletic Club…

It could have been so much better, too.

Nelly Korda: PGA Championship victory was a thrill

Korda, who shot a tournament-record 63 on Friday, was 21-under on the 15th tee – the lowest score to par in major history is 21-under by In Gee Chun at the 2016 Evian Championship, remember – before she inexplicably dunked her ball in he water that runs down the right-hand side of the 190-yard par-3.

But she steadied the ship and played the final three holes in level par to hold off Lizette Salas – who you might remember missed out on a Women’s Open play-off in 2019 when Hinako Shibuno holed a monster putt on the 18th at Woburn to deny her American rival.

For 22-year-old Korda, though, it has had a fine year – and it’s difficult to think of another player that’s been in better form in 2021. Just look at these numbers prior to this week:

Tournament of Champions: -22 (finished 3rd)
Gainbridge LPGA: -16 (1st)
LPGA Drive-On: Even par (tied-28th)
Kia Classic: -5 (tied-10th)
ANA Inspiration: -11 (tied-3rd)
Lotte Championship: -21 (tied-2nd)
LA Open: -8 (tied-10th)
Pure Silk Championship: -2 (tied-25th)
US Women’s Open: +11 (missed cut)
Meijer Classic: -25 (1st)

Then add her 19-under from Athletic and Korda is a frankly absurd 118-under-par in 2021.

It’s all culminated in a maiden major and it sees Korda move to World No 1 – the first top-ranked American since Stacy Lewis in 2014.

History for Hovland

Not content with being the first Norwegian to win on the PGA Tour, Viktor Hovland is now the first Norwegian to win on the European Tour, too.

There are plenty of wins in this kid’s future and it’s so great to see someone play with such obvious joy.

He’s got some way to go to catch up Norway’s most successful player, Suzann Pettersen, but I wouldn’t bet against it…

Thitikul makes it three

She’s the teenage sensation waiting to take over the world – and Atthaya Thitikul has taken another step to doing just that with victory at the Czech Ladies Open.

The 18-year-old already had two LET wins – she won the Thailand Championship twice as an amateur – and now she has one outside her homeland, and her first as a pro.

Fair play if you stayed up to watch the climax of the Travelers Championship. When Kramer Hickok holed a short birdie putt on the 72nd to force a play-off with Harris English, you couldn’t have thought there would be a further 63 shots hit before the pair could be separated.

In the end, English edged it on the eighth extra hole.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, because I was too. Here’s Justin Ray…

Right, that’s enough from me. Have a good week, everyone.

Enjoy the Nelly Korda Women’s PGA victory? Tell NCG on X!

Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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