Nelly Korda secured her first victory of 2023 with a four-stroke success in the Aramco Team Series at Centurion Club.
It was the American’s second Aramco Team Series title following her win at Aramco Team Series – Sotogrande last year. The 24-year-old underlined her liking for the innovative format that combines team and individual play by leading from start to finish at Centurion Club.
Korda was tied at the top with Charley Hull after the first round, and then on the second day, she played brilliantly in stormy conditions to open up a five-shot lead.
Hull gave chase on the final day, a week on from her tied-second display in the U.S Women’s Open. The English ace fired a sizzling 68 but was forced to settle for second best again, thanks to Korda’s consistency and class.
Korda shot a final-day 71 to close out at 11-under-par to triumph for the first time since the Pelican Women’s Championship last November.
Korda said: “I’ve really put a lot of work in recently and it’s nice that it’s paid off. I knew Charley was going to make a run for it; I think everyone was trying to. It’s tough to be the one out front and who everyone is trying to get. I just stuck to my game and took it one shot at a time. As boring as it sounds, it worked. I have Evian and the AIG Women’s Open coming up and hopefully I have learned a little bit about the weather this week, and I can take that momentum into the next two big events.”
Korda dealt supremely with the heavy rain on Friday and the sustained high winds on Saturday – the latter she described as “probably, top-three toughest conditions I’ve ever played in.” She also added that her second-round four-under-par 69 rated in the “top-three best rounds in my life”.
Korda added: “It was a nice test of golf. It was a lot of fun to play in this weather. Growing up in Florida, it’s hot; it’s sometimes windy, but not all the elements are thrown at you at once in one day. It was a lot of fun getting to hit shots that I normally don’t and kind of being creative out there – and overall, I really enjoyed my experience playing.”
Hull’s chance took a major hit with her Saturday round of 76 as the exhaustion of recent weeks caught up with her. But she responded well to end the tournament on a high.
Hull said: “It was good fun out there. It was nice to be playing in front of the home crowds. I felt like I crashed a bit, but I got a good rest last night, and I felt a lot better today. I’m looking forward to just chilling next week and probably not being on a golf course too much – just doing a lot of range sessions. I feel really good. I feel like my game is in good shape – second last week, second this week. Hopefully, a win is round the corner.”
Georgia Hall led the successful quartet to victory in the 36-hole team event. The English golfer combined with Kylie Henry, Lea Anne Bramwell and amateur Michael Austick to finish at 24-under-par – one clear of team Hull.
Hall said: “Most importantly, when one of us was out of a hole, another player came in and kind of managed to save that par or get that birdie. We all got on really well, and we had a really nice group, a fun group. And our amateur helped two or three times in the round, which was also handy.”
Henry paid tribute to team captain Hall, who chipped in for birdie on the 35th hole and then eagled the last after a beautiful approach.
Henry said: “Amazing – what a great finish from her. Chipping in and then the eagle, she just hit such a great 3-wood in, and the putt was never in doubt. So it was brilliant for the team – we were certainly delighted.”