Golf - British Open
United States' Nelly Korda, world No.1 and champion in Tokyo Olympics, plays the 17th hole during the first round of the Women's British Open golf championship, in Carnoustie, Scotland on Thursday. Image Credit: AP

Carnoustie, Scotland: Two weeks after winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, top-ranked Nelly Korda began her bid for a second major title by shooting five-under 67 in the first round to share the clubhouse lead at the Women’s British Open on Thursday.

Korda rolled in a 5-foot putt at No. 18 for her eighth birdie of a round that also contained three bogeys in overcast, chilly but largely wind-free conditions over the links at Carnoustie.

She was tied for the lead with Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, who drove into a bunker at the last and missed a 10-footer for par.


The 23-year-old Korda is the new star of women’s golf, having climbed to No. 1 by winning the PGA Championship in June and following that up by winning the Olympic golf tournament in Tokyo this month. The American has four wins in 14 events in 2021 and said she has a ‘‘target on my back’’ in Scotland for the last of the five majors.

The Women’s Open is her first event since the Olympics and she picked up where she left off, holing a left-to-right 20-footer for birdie at No. 3 - the first of three birdies in a four-hole span to immediately throw down the challenge to her rivals.

Korda, who wore bulky, oven-style mitts between shots at times during the morning, rebounded from her second bogey of the day, at No. 12, by making a downhill putt for birdie at the next and picked up another shot at the par-5 14th after reaching the green in two.

She finished birdie-birdie by hitting her approach close at No. 18 with an 8-iron from the center of the fairway.

Korda has been on the road for six weeks, because of her appearances at the Evian Championship in France - the fourth major of the year, where she placed 19th _ and then the Olympics, where she had a one-shot victory.

‘‘A little tired but I am going to give it my all these next three day, go home next week, and have one week at home. Sleep in my bed for the first time in six weeks - that will be nice,’’ she said. ‘‘And then Solheim and we start up again.’’