Aussie’s heartbreak as World No.1 stuns again

Nelly Korda and Hannah Green had a tough duel.
Nelly Korda and Hannah Green had a tough duel.

A final hole bogey left a “sour taste” for Australian Hannah Green who fell a single shot short of dethroning the queen as world No.1 Nelly Korda won a staggering sixth tournament from her past seven starts with a perfect close after a head-to-head Sunday showdown at the Americas Open in New Jersey.

Having led early, then shared the lead for most of the closing stages, Green, who was tied with Korda at 14-under on the 18th tee, four shots clear of the chasing pack, stumbled at the worst possible time with a devastating errant drive consigning her to second spot.

Green, who has won twice in 2024, found the heavy rough left of the fairway off the tee at the final par four, and her eight-iron second only scrubbed out to well short of the green, leaving Korda, in the fairway, who found the putting surface with her second shot.

Mizuho Americas Open - Final Round
Nelly Korda of the United States and Hannah Green of Australia embrace after their final round duel. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Korda missed the birdie putt for the win but Green, having come out of the long grass again, missed a four-metre par putt as a flat end to what had been a thrilling duel between the number one and two ranked players on the Rolex player-of-the-year standings.

For Korda, it was a sixth win from eight events in 2024, only the fourth time in history a player has won six LPGA Tour events before the halfway mark of the season.

“Yeah, I mean, to lose to Nelly kind of like is -- it’s sad, but then it’s also Nelly Korda,” Green said.

“You know, like she’s obviously so dominant right now. To feel like second behind her is quite nice.”

“Unfortunately the bogey on the last has a little bit of a sour taste, but I still competed out there when I didn’t really think I was in it at all.”

“Oh my gosh, six, I mean, I just can’t even really gather myself now after that head-to-head that Hannah and I had pretty much all day,” Korda said.

“It wasn’t my best stuff out there today but fought really hard on the back nine,” she added.

Having secured her Olympics spot with by defending her title in Los Angeles two events ago, Green surged into contention at Liberty National in the third round before she and Korda, who was gunning for a sixth straight victory, put a gap on the field in the final round.

Korda has been unstoppable so far this season, while Green had mixed her two wins with missed cuts but jumped to a confidence-building career high-ranking of nine and was the only other multiple-event winner this year.

Mizuho Americas Open - Final Round
Nelly Korda won her sixth event of the year. Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP.

Starting the final round two shots behind Korda, and playing alongside her in the final group, Green took the lead on the seventh hole after an early stumble from the overnight leader who bogeyed three of her opening seven holes.

With the lead tied, they made birdie putts from similar spots on the 15th hole, found their balls next to each other off the 17th green, each making par, and went to the 18th locked at 14-under before the Aussie’s final hole heartbreak.

Green’s fellow Aussie, Gabi Ruffels, finished in a tie for third, four-shots behind the winner, her second-straight top five finish and third overall in her rookie LPGA season.