The floodgates appear to have opened for Nanna Koerstz Madsen. The Dane won last month’s Honda LPGA Thailand in a playoff over Xiyu Lin and almost went back-to-back at last week’s JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol, ultimately falling to Thai rookie Atthaya Thitikul in another playoff.
Through two days at Mission Hills, Koerstz Madsen sits in a tie for fifth at -6 and her 36-hole total of 138 is her second lowest at The Chevron Championship. Over the course of her last 11 rounds, she’s carded 67 or better eight times and is -53 with a scoring average of 67.2, averaging five birdies or better per round. With those positives in her arsenal, she’s more than in form ahead of the weekend and while that final leap into Poppie’s Pond on Sunday looms large, Koerstz Madsen remains focused on keeping an even-tempered attitude, a strategy that’s served her well in 2022.
“I'm just staying patient and trusting my game,” said the 27-year-old, who made six birdies and one bogey on Friday. “I was very frustrated after my round yesterday. I didn't hit the ball good at all. I really fought around. Today was much better than yesterday. I hit more fairways today, which makes it a little easier on this course. There wasn't any specific strength today I would say. I did still hit some bad shots out there, but that's golf.”
Last year at Mission Hills, Koerstz Madsen finished in a tie for third after firing a 6-under 66 in the final round, her career-best result in a major. A few months later at the AIG Women’s Open, Koerstz Madsen was co-leading on the final hole at Carnoustie and then made a tragic double bogey to finish T5, a frustrating scenario for any player, especially in a major. But it’s the lessons learned through failure that teach us the most and as she heads into the weekend in Rancho Mirage, Koerstz Madsen said she’ll recall upon those as she once again contends for a major title.
“I do think being in contention at the British, I realized that you don't win with only hitting good shots,” she said. “You're going to hit some bad shots out there. I think from the British Open forward I just realized that there are going to be bad shots out there and you just got to accept that. I love this place. Finished third last year. It was very good. It was my best major result at that time; still is. Gives you a little confidence knowing you can play this course well.”