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Nelly Korda shoots highest score as a pro, misses third straight cut at KPMG Women’s PGA

Highlights: Korda struggles to missed cut at KPMG
The Golf Central team breaks down where Nelly Korda went wrong during Round 2 of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

With an overhead camera fixated on her group in the scoring area Friday evening, television eyes were on Nelly Korda. She stared ahead with barely a blink, any number of thoughts – or maybe none at all – going through her mind.

For the second time in less than a month, Korda failed to break 80 in an LPGA major. She went from one off the 18-hole lead to her third consecutive missed cut at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

The world No. 1 had eight bogeys, one double bogey and a lone birdie at the last, in shooting 9-over 81 at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington. It marked her highest score as a professional.

Korda finished 36 holes at 6 over par, one outside the cut line.

After winning six of her first eight starts this season – including five in a row – Korda has now failed to advance to the weekend three straight times (a career first). It began with an opening 80 at the U.S. Women’s Open, which led to a missed cut. It continued, following a week off, with rounds of 76-67 at the Meijer LPGA Classic. And it culminated (at least for now), with polar-opposite performances over two days in the Pacific Northwest.

“No words,” an emotional Korda said briefly after her round. “Just going to go home and try to reset.”

A few weeks ago at Lancaster Country Club, Korda made a 10 on her third hole of the national championship and never recovered. There was no giant blunder this time around; rather, a steady stream of mistakes.

She started this major by making nearly 110 feet of putts in shooting 69, placing her one behind the overnight lead. The putter, however, was uncooperative in Round 2. In fact, her whole game didn’t abide.

The trouble began immediately when Korda hit her tee shot at the first into a fairway bunker and played her second shot to a short-sided position. A poor pitch led to two putts and a bogey.

She then missed a 3-footer for par at the second, missed a 12-footer for par after going long at the par-3 third, and then missed another 3-footer for par at the fourth.

Four holes, four bogeys.

She seemed to have righted the ship at the par-3 fifth, hitting her tee shot to 5 feet, but, again, she missed the putt.

Korda then found the left rough off the tee at the par-5 sixth and had trouble escaping. Her second shot, with a fairway wood, only traveled 85 feet and her third shot went 103 yards. After finally finding the putting surface, she missed the par save from 11 feet.

Five over on the day, 2 over for the championship and eight shots off the lead, Korda coaxed in par putts from inside 7 feet on Nos. 7 and 8. But after going long of the green at the par-3 ninth, her par save from 15 feet clung to the lip and didn’t fall.

Her tap-in for her sixth bogey of the round was her 18th putt on the inward half.

Things didn’t improve on the back nine.

Korda had 'no words' for KPMG Women's PGA fall
The Golf Central crew reacts to Nelly Korda’s disappointing performance during the second round of the 2024 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship that had her miss the cut.

Korda bogeyed the par-5 11th and par-4 14th holes to put her on the projected cut line. After missing the fairway left at the par-4 15th, her hybrid approach shot bounded over the green and finished just beyond the out-of-bounds stakes.

She had to accept a stroke-and-distance penalty, and after playing her fourth shot, wiped away tears as she walked towards the green. The ensuing double bogey dropped her outside the top 90.

Korda managed to birdie the par-5 18th but the cut line didn’t waver.

“It all went my way at the beginning part of the year,” Korda said, “and it’s just getting it back.”