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Nelly Korda opens with 3-under 69 at LPGA 2024 Cognizant Founders Cup

Nelly Korda opens with 3-under 69 at LPGA 2024 Cognizant Founders Cup

ESPN tennis analyst Rennae Stubbs came out to the Cognizant Founders Cup on Thursday wearing a T-shirt that read “Everyone watches Nelly Korda” in large upper-case font.

It was a hopeful message from Stubbs, who believes not enough attention is being paid to Korda as she tries to become the first player in LPGA history to win six consecutive starts. Korda, who dazzled at the Met Gala earlier this week in New York City, opened with a 3-under 69 at Upper Montclair Country Club and sits four back of clubhouse leader Madelene Sagstrom.

LPGA legends Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez join Korda as the only players to win five consecutive starts.

“The fact that she’s going for six in a row and really, in my opinion, the sports media is not there enough,” Stubbs told ESPN+ reporter Chantel McCabe. “So we are trying to bring a little bit of press, some social … get people to actually understand that what Nelly Korda is on the precipice of actually doing is history-making in women’s golf and in women’s sports.”

FOUNDERS CUP: Photo gallery

Stubbs, who won four Grand Slam doubles titles and two mixed-doubles titles, then headed back out to watch LPGA rookie Gabriela Ruffels finish her round her own round of 69. Stubbs was coached by Ruffels’ father, Ray, early in her career.

Korda, the 25-year-old daughter of two world-class tennis players from the Czech Republic, notched four birdies in an opening round she deemed “solid.” She was especially pleased with her irons.

“This golf course is pretty intimidating off the tee,” she said of some wayward drives that got caught in the wind.

While Korda had a large support team at the Chevron Championship, the LPGA’s first major, this week it’s back to a small contingent. Her swing coach, Jamie Mulligan, is out with Patrick Cantlay at the Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her agent was in town briefly, but her parents didn’t make the trip at all to Cliffton, New Jersey.

Her physio, Kim Baughman, who keeps fruit in her backpack for Korda, who enjoyed a mid-round plum, is with her all week along with longtime caddie Jason McDede.

Korda said she’s not thinking about what’s on the line.

“I’m not trying to think about the outside noise,” she said. “Would it be amazing? Of course….


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