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Rookie Nelly Korda leads Marathon Classic

Lexi Thompson - Perhaps the biggest threat to Norda tomorrow (Photo: Bruce Young)
LPGA Tour rookie Nelly Korda leads the Marathon Classic in Sylvania in Illinois the two ahead of South Korean In Kyung Kim and three ahead of a group which includes major winners Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park, and 36 hole leader Gerina Piller.

Korda, who has already safely secured retained her card for the 2018 season courtesy of her performances to date in 2017, birdied her final two holes of round three to break clear of what had been a tightly congested leaderboard.

The 18 year old is the sister of former Australian Women’s Open winner, Jessica, and the daughter of former Australian Tennis Open Champion, Peter, and has shown so early in her career that she too is destined for a significant career in professional sport.

Her best finish of the season to date was when 5th at the season opener in Bermuda but she has seldom missed a cut and the experience she is gaining is beginning to flow into even better results.

“I've learned a lot my rookie year out here,” said Korda. “It's definitely to stay patient and really to take it shot by shot. I've been in a couple positions where I've been on top of the leaderboard, and I just really got ahead of myself, started thinking too far ahead, and I just told myself I need to calm down really, take it shot by shot and stay calm, breathe a little bit more and just stay calm.”

Korda won on the Symetra Tour last season and finished 9th on the money list there to gain access to the LPGA Tour.

“I'm very grateful I went through Symetra Tour. It taught me a lot, and I actually won out there last year, and really that's why I'm saying taking it shot by shot really helped last year because when you get towards the end of your round, nerves really start to kick in, and when you stay calm, it definitely helps. Having a caddie like mine beside me really also helps a lot, too.”

Korda is well placed to win but in order to do so she will have to hold off some of the game’s most in form players such as Thompson and Park, who won last week's US Women's Open, to do so.

Lydia Ko continued her recovery from a horror start on Thursday adding a third round of 65 to be tied for 19th position.

Wendy Doolan was the only Australian to make the cut and is in 55th position after a third round of 71.

 

NELLY KORDA

 

 

 

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