Olympics: World No. 1 Nelly Korda claims women's golf title to complete US double

Nelly Korda looks on during the Women's Individual final event at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan, on Aug 7, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

KAWAGOE, JAPAN (REUTERS) - Nelly Korda survived a double bogey and a bogey in her final round on Saturday (Aug 7), shooting a two-under 69 to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics to complete a United States sweep and secure another glittering prize for a royal family of sport.

After her bogey on No. 11 at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan, she made a birdie on the 13th and all pars from there. Her 17-under 267 was just enough to fend off Mone Inami of Japan and Lydia Ko of New Zealand, who each fired six-under 65s and to finish tied for second at 268.

Inami then needed just one play-off hole, a repeat of No. 18, to claim silver with a par, leaving Ko with the bronze medal.

There was no fairy-tale finish for India's world No. 200 Aditi Ashok, who was second after the third round but ended a heart-breaking fourth having raised her country's medal hopes. Her 68 gave her a total of 269.

World No. 1 Korda, 23, earned her first career Major championship in June, capturing the Women's PGA Championship for her third victory of the year.

Her gold, six days after compatriot Xander Schauffele won the men's event, gave her family another precious heirloom to rival father Petr's Australian Open tennis trophy.

Inami put on a charge to contend down the stretch, making five birdies in six-hole span on the back nine, although she lost a chance to catch Korda when she settled for a bogey on No. 18. Inami finished her fourth round with nine birdies and three bogeys.

Ko also ended her final round with nine birdies and three bogeys, although her run of birdies came on her front nine, when she birdied Nos. 2-5 and then No. 8.

She had bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11, and then after birdies on Nos. 13-15, she went bogey-birdie on No. 16 and No. 17 before finishing with a par.

"It feels amazing ... It's surreal," Korda told reporters. "It was very stressful but I kept it together, I fought pretty hard.

"It's safe to say I really enjoyed my first Olympic experience."

Korda's older sister Jessica, 28, who finished tied for 15th, did a little dance before hugging Nelly on the green as their teammates cheered.

It continues Korda's annus mirabilis, having clinched her first Major and the top ranking at the Women's PGA Championship in June.

"Honestly, it's crazy," she said. "I think I'll look back at the season after the season is done... When I do look back, it's just crazy."

The Korda family can look forward to plenty more sporting success, with Jessica a six-time winner on the LPGA Tour in her own right and younger brother Sebastian a title-winner on the ATP tennis tour at the age of 21.

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