Women’s Olympic Gold medalist in golf, Nelly Korda, will take a one-shot lead into Saturday’s final round of the Aramco Team Series, a unique Ladies European Tour team competition being played at the Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury.
Korda and her team are 9-under par through the first two rounds, leading Alison Lee’s team, which is 8-under par, and 17-year-old Slovenian Pia Babnik, whose team is 7-under par.
“I holed out on number 4 and that gave me a lot of confidence and I made a couple of birdies from there on in,’’ Korda said. “I hit some solid wedge shots which I stuck close and had short birdie putts and hit it pretty close on 8. I’ve been consistent and am just putting a lot better. Consistency in my play and trying to hit it closer and eradicate mistakes has been the goal.’’
Glen Oaks hosted the 2017 Northern Trust, the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoff event won by Dustin Johnson.
“The golf course is really nice,’’ Korda said. “It’s narrow, there’s undulations and you have to think out here. I like the event, it’s easier going out there and it’s easy going as you’re not just playing for yourself.’’
The Aramco Team Series, the first Ladies European Tour event ever played in the U.S., involves amateur players whose score counts toward the team score. It’s the third of four events in the series events after already playing tournaments in England and Spain.
Among the stars in the sport competing along with world No. 1 Korda, are her sister Jessica, Lizette Salas, Lexi Thompson, Danielle Kang as well as reigning Women’s British Open champion Anna Nordqvist.
The Aramco Team Series features teams of four that include three pros and one amateur. Each team has a captain who chooses her first player in an NFL-style draft. The amateur player is randomly assigned. Two of four scores on each hole count towards the team score, while the pros also compete for the individual trophy.
There are 28 teams competing over 54 holes, ending on Saturday. The two best scores per hole count with the top team earning $150,000 of an $800,000 prize fund for their three professionals. The player with the lowest individual score earns the top prize of a $200,000 pool. So, it’s possible that an amateur could determine the team winner.
“It’s a brilliant format — so fun and so different to really anything else we play on Tour,” Nordqvist said.
“The Solheim Cup was the perfect example of how fans and players love team golf,” Nelly Korda said.
“It really gives the amateur a chance to see what tournament pressure golf is like,’’ Catriona Matthew, the European Solheim captain, said. “I think it gives them a great insight to see what it’s like actually playing under pressure.’’
Tickets for the event are free to the public and can be obtained here.
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