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Aussie golfers hunt down world No.1 Korda in New Jersey

3 minute read

Australian golfers Hannah Green and Gabriela Ruffels are hot on the heels of world No.1 Nelly Korda entering the final round of the LPGA Tour's Americas Open.

HANNAH GREEN. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

In-form Australians Hannah Green and Gabriela Ruffels are doing their utmost to deny world No.1 Nelly Korda a sixth LPGA Tour victory of the year.

After having her record-tying five-tournament winning streak snapped last week, Korda has found herself back on top of the leaderboard following a third-round seven-under-par 65 at the Americas Open in New Jersey.

Korda moved to 13 under for the tournament as Green also caught fire to be outright second two shots behind.

The only other multiple LPGA Tour winner in 2024, Green took advantage of the calm and dry morning conditions to post a tournament-record 63 and set up a final-group shootout with Korda.

The duo are ranked number one and two on the Rolex player-of-the-year standings, and it again showed as neither dropped a shot at Liberty National on Saturday (Sunday AEST).

After starting with two pars, Green racked up nine birdies in 16 holes, including six on a sizzling back nine, to soar from 37th at the halfway mark to 11 under and with only Korda in front of her.

"I actually hit it really close, so it was really nice to actually not have to stress about trying to make pars today," Green said after finding 17 of 18 greens in a supreme ball-striking display.

"It did feel like autopilot for a little bit there, which is very nice. So, yeah, now I put myself hopefully in contention for Sunday."

Fresh off her career-best third placing at last week's Cognizant Founders Cup, also in New Jersey, Ruffels is only one stroke further back in a share of third following a 68.

The 24-year-old, who also successfully qualified for next week's Women's US Open on Monday, birdied her opening four holes in a flying start before cooling off.

Ruffels is at 10 under along with Japan's Akaya Furue (67).

Another 11 players are within five shots of Korda entering the final round.

Korda, though, is undoubtedly the player to stop.

Playing in the afternoon when the weather got a little chillier and windier and there was a light rain for the final nine holes, the American took the lead for the first time with a birdie on No.15.

Korda almost made an eagle on the driveable 16th and then missed two birdie putts on the final two holes before walking off the course shaking her head, happy to be out of there.

"The first nine the wind was down, it was sunny, it was warm," Korda said.

"By the time we got near to the water on the back nine the wind started picking up and it started drizzling. It was the weather we kind of played in the first day, so made sure to stay warm and to take it a shot at a time."

With AP

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