Korda Takes Command
A second day of extreme heat and the looming threat of a summer storm didn't deter the Olympic golfing field from filling out some impressive scorecards in Round 2 of the women's competition Thursday in Tokyo.
The reigning Women's PGA Champion and top-seeded Olympian Nelly Korda lived up to her World No. 1 ranking, going on a tear that included a nine-hole stretch at 8-under par. Her total after two rounds is 13-under par.
A part of Korda's impressive run included an eagle on the sixth hole, a feat matched by only a few other golfers in Round 2. The American headed to the 18th tee with a chance to shoot a historic single-round score of 59, but a missed fairway shot and bunker visit gave her a double bogey -- but still a four stroke lead after two days of action.
That action is still expected to be a four-day event, however two different weather events have put contingency plans into effect. Round 3 will begin on split tees, with groups playing from holes 1 and 10 at 7:30 A.M. due to the extreme heat. For Round 4, officials are hoping to begin early to avoid having golf interrupted by an impending tropical storm. The possibility still exists for the competition to be reduced to a 54-hole event, with the final round being nixed altogether.
Switzerland's Kim Metraux landed an eagle on the first hole, draining her approach shot from the fairway and skipping the short game altogether. Despite the impressive hole out, Metraux ended the day at 2-over par for the week so far.
Denmark's Emily Kristine Pedersen drove the green on the sixth hole, then putted in for an eagle of her own. Both Danes, Pederson and Nanna Koerstz Madsen, sit in a three-way tie for second place at nine under par. The third player in that position is India's Aditi Ashok, who improved on her Round 1 67 and shot a Round 2 66.
Despite a two-round score that puts her near the bottom of the standings, Morocco's Maha Haddioui has etched her name in Olympic history. On the 7th hole, Haddioui shot an ace, recording the first (and so far, only) hole in one during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics -- for both the men's and women's competitions. The last Olympic hole in one was shot by Justin Rose of Great Britain, who won the gold medal in the 2016 Rio Games.
Round 1 leader Madelene Sagstrom stayed in the top five with 68, giving her a two-day score of eight under par.
Nelly Korda's lead puts her in position to potentially bring the United States gold medals in both 2020 golf competitions, as American Xander Schauffele finishedatop the podium in the men's competition on Sunday.
In an effort to combat the extreme heat index, the IGF Competitions Committee has informed golfers that carts with ice and cold towels will be traveling throughout the course, and volunteers with umbrellas will stand at each tee to give shade to waiting players.