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Carnoustie 2021

Korda shares lead as Duncan delights


Round one report

Nelly Korda on day one of the AIG Women

Nelly Korda maintained her rich vein of form to share the lead after day one of the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie, as amateur Louise Duncan also shone.

Korda, the Olympic gold medallist and Rolex Women’s Golf World Rankings number one, moved quickly to the top of the leaderboard after a superb opening round of five-under-par 67.

The American, who claimed the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in June, closed with an impressive four birdies in her last six holes as she seeks to claim a second Major Championship title.

On a calm, overcast day, with the Angus links softened by overnight rain, a number of players thrived in the conditions.

Korea’s Sei Young Kim and Madelene Sagstrom from Sweden also opened with excellent 67s to join Korda at the summit. Kim, who won last year’s Women’s PGA, carded four birdies in five holes from the sixth with Solheim Cup-chasing Sagstrom, paired with European captain Catriona Matthew, also enjoying four birdies in her opening six holes.

Duncan delighted the home crowds to sit just a shot off the lead after a superb four-under-par 68.

The 21-year-old Scot won the 118th Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) in June and continued her love for links golf to sit in a share of fourth place, highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 14th and four solid closing pars over Carnoustie’s demanding finish.

Duncan’s playing partner Georgia Hall, the 2018 Champion, rekindled her affection for the Championship, the English player mixing six birdies with just two bogeys for her 68.

American Andrea Lee, who started with three birdies, and Yuka Saso, the reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion from the Philippines, also enjoyed excellent first rounds to join Hall and Duncan on four-under-par.

A further three players are well-placed on three-under-par, namely American pair Lexi Thompson and Lizette Salas and Spain's Carlota Ciganda.

Defending champion Sophia Popov chipped in at the first for a birdie but endured an up-and-down day in signing for a level-par round of 72.

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