Nelly Korda
Nelly Korda had to rough it out to save par in the opening round of Amundi Evian Championship and stay one shot off lead on Thursday. Image Credit: AFP

Paris: Former world number one Nelly Korda removed her shoes and socks and stood ankle-deep in water from where she scrambled to make par before finishing one shot off the first-round lead at the Amundi Evian Championship in France on Thursday.

Korda, who began her round at the year’s penultimate major on the back nine, chose to wade into the water at Evian Resort Golf Club after her approach shot at the par-five 18th settled on the pond’s edge.

Korda splashed her third shot onto the fringe of the green and two-putted en route to a seven-under-par 64 that left her level with Canada’s Brooke Henderson and one behind Japan’s Ayaka Furue.

“I had a decent chance of getting it out on the green, so I just went for it, and saved par. Better than taking a drop, that’s for sure,” said world number three Korda.

The 23-year-old American, who won the 2021 Women’s PGA Championship and has been enjoying an impressive comeback after time out this year following surgery on a blood clot in her arm, said she has never attempted a shot like that before.

“Never, and I must say, it’s very slimy on the bottom. Does not feel very good,” said Korda.

Leading Scores

(par 71)

63 - Ayaka Furue (JPN)

64 - Brooke Henderson (CAN), Nelly Korda (USA)

65 - Cheyenne Knight (USA), Yuna Nishimura (JPN), Ko Jin-young (KOR), Lydia Ko (NZL), Perrine Delacour (FRA), Charley Hull (ENG)

67 - Park Min-ji (KOR), Chun In-gee (KOR), Anna Nordqvist (SWE), Ji Eun-hee (KOR), Ryu So-yeon (KOR), Nanna Koerstz Madsen (DEN), Park Sung-hyun (KOR), Carlota Ciganda (ESP), Linn Grant (SWE)

Selected

68 - Atthaya Thitkul (THA), Kim Hyo-joo (KOR)

69 - Georgia Hall (ENG), Nasa Hataoka (JPN)

70 - Minjee Lee (AUS)

71 - Jennifer Kupcho (USA)

72 - Park In-bee (KOR)