‘I’m human’: World No.1’s double-digit disaster

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Nelly Korda had a disastrous start to the US Open. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Before the US Open began Australian star Hannah Green said a red-hot world No.1 Nelly Korda would beat the field by “probably a lot” if she brought her best to Lancaster Country Club.

But world’s best golfer instead put three balls in the water on her third hole, a par three, walked off with a 10 and signed for an opening round 80 to blow the hunt for the $3.6 million winner’s cheque wide open.

“Making a 10 on a par 3 will definitely not do you any good at a U.S. Open,” Korda said after her round.

Aussie star Minjee Lee, the 2022 US Open champ playing just her eighth event for 2024, opened with an even-par round of 70 which was enough to be in a tie for fifth with just four players in the entire field shooting under par, Japan’s Yuka Saso leading at two-under.

World No.5 Green struggled as well, making just a single birdie and a bogey on her closing hole in an opening round of six-over 76 as Korda shot her second-worst round as a pro.

Korda’s highest major rounds of 81, shot twice, came when she was 14, at the 2013 US Open, and 15, at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

But it was the second-straight opening round 80 at the US Open from Korda, having shot the same number in the 2023 tournament at Pebble Beach.

But in between she has gone on one of the hottest runs in golf.

In 2024 Korda has won six of her eight events, including an LPGA record five in a row to separate herself from the rest of the world.

She wasn’t on her own shooting a blowout number with superstar Lydia Ko also shooting an 80, with another 10 players faring even worse.

“I just didn’t really want to shoot 80,” Korda said.

“And I just kept making bogeys.”

“I’m human. I’m going to have bad days. I played some really solid golf up to this point. Today was just a bad day. That’s all I can say.”

Of the other Australians in the field, Gabi Ruffels and Sarah Kemp finished at five-over , amatuer Keeley Marx at six-over and Steph Kyriacou at seven-over after starting with a 77.