NAPLES, Fla. — Eight-time LPGA Tour winner Nelly Korda carded the 20th ace of the 2023 LPGA Tour season on Moving Day at the CME Group Tour Championship.
The Olympic gold medalist holed out on the par-3 8th hole from 148 yards with a 9-iron to record the second hole-in-one of the week at Tiburón Golf Club. Jenny Shin also made an ace on No. 8 in the second round. It’s the first ace of Korda’s seven-year LPGA Tour career, and it’s just the second hole-in-one of her life as the 25-year-old hasn’t made an ace since she was 11 years old. Safe to say that Korda was relieved to finally achieve a goal on Saturday that she's been setting for the last 14 years.
"I had 148, just hit a controlled 9-iron, wind was off my right. Actually kind of pitched pin high and then spun left. I haven't seen the video because the pin is kind of hidden from the angle of the bunker. But, I'm super psyched. Already had a couple friends send my their Venmo," said Korda. "My reaction was (Jason McDede, her caddie) coming at me with two high fives saying, finally. I make it a goal every year to make a hole-in-one and for the past 14 years I failed. It's finally nice to get that one."
In honor of Korda’s ace at the CME Group Tour Championship, CME will donate $20,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as part of their CME Group Cares Challenge – Score 1 for St. Jude. The Challenge is a season-long charitable giving program that turns aces into donations with a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is leading the way in how the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and life-threatening diseases. Today’s hole-in-one raises the 2023 donation total to $400,000.
While Korda was excited to finally accomplish one of very few things that she hasn't yet done on the LPGA Tour, having a $20,000 donation go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on her behalf made the major champion's Saturday hole out mean that much more. "You're playing for bigger than yourself usually," said Korda, "and to be able to be a small part in donating such a significant amount to St. Jude feels pretty good."