Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan – The Nelly Korda Show continued on Friday at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Team USA star and World No. 1 player shot a third-round 2-under 69 and maintained her lead at -15 through 54 holes.
Korda holds a three-stroke advantage on the coveted gold medal over India’s Aditi Ashok at -12 and a five-stroke lead over 2016 silver medalist Lydia Ko, Hannah Green, Emily Kristine Pedersen and Mone Inami, all tied for third at -10.
“I'm trying to stay as present as possible. I'm trying to stick to my game plan, trying to execute it,” said, Korda, a six-time LPGA Tour winner who is making her Olympics debut. “Obviously there's going to be times where I'm going to not hit a shot well and that's going to stray me from my game plan but I'm just really keeping my mind stuck to my game plan.”
After opening with birdies at 2, 5 and 6, Korda stumbled with a three-putt bogey at the par-5 8th hole. But she had smooth sailing from there, converting 10 consecutive pars to close her round. She pointed to her “fight” on the back nine, dropping in several dicey par saves.
“I didn't have a really good back nine,” said Korda. “I was kind of spraying it all over the place, I had some testy par putts, but made all pars and I fought really hard to stay in it really or ahead of it.”
Jessica Korda, Nelly’s older sister by five years, is the next highest American, sitting tied for 29th at -2 overall. She was even-par for the day through 17 holes but double-bogeyed 18 to finish at 2-over 73.
Lexi Thompson and Danielle Kang round out the American contingent, tied for 34th at -1. Thompson shot her low round of the competition, with a 2-under 69 on Friday, while Kang carded five bogeys and two birdies en route to a 3-over 74.Due to the high heat and potential for dangerous storms throughout the day, fourth-round play will start off the first and 10th tees, starting at 6:30 a.m. local time.