Seven holes into the third spherical of Olympic girls’s golf, Nelly Korda used to be making it gaze easy.
She made three birdies, at one point stretching her lead to 5 shots. The one time she used to be out of intention, the 23-one year-conventional American blasted out of a bunker upright of the golf green on the par-3 seventh and it hit the pin for a tap-in par.
One hole modified every thing however the name atop the leaderboard.
Korda survived a battle along with her swing, closed with 12 straight pars for a 2-under 69 and held a three-shot lead going into the final spherical in her pursuit of a gold medal.
“I did now not occupy a terribly staunch abet nine. I used to be form of spraying it in every single intention. I had some mopish par putts,” Korda said. “But made all pars and I fought the truth is laborious to remain in it the truth is, or old to it.”
She used to be ahead by three shots over Aditi Ashok of India, who’s almost closing in the 60-player self-discipline driving and plot the tip in sheer dedication. She had a 68.
And for now, there’ll be a final spherical at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Olympic golf officials belief to originate up play as early as that it is most likely you’ll almost definitely imagine Saturday and make one of the of a window they hope is big ample to squeeze in 72 holes old to a tropical storm in the forecast arrives.
“I’m factual more having fingers, toes and every thing crossed to deliver that the weather gods will enable us to play the next day,” said Lydia Ko of Contemporary Zealand, who used to be 5 shots at the abet of. “I devour fancy the Olympics itself has passed by so powerful, and Tokyo has passed by so powerful to host us. For it to be decrease short … I devour fancy this may possibly almost definitely sum up the full self-discipline.”
Korda had made birdie on every par 5 for the tournament and had 80 yards to the pin for her third shot at the par-5 eighth. But she hit a clunker that rolled down the ridge 50 toes away, left that some 10 toes short and three-putted for bogey.
From there, it used to be a grind.
“There’s something interior of me after I bogey a par 5 that I factual procure so pissed off about because I shouldn’t be doing that,” Korda said. “But I kept telling myself that there’s more opportunities ahead.”
She factual didn’t capitalize on them.
Korda had a tricky bunker shot she failed to transform on the par-5 14th. She used to be ending swings with one hand on the membership. She drove to interior 90 yards of the 17th green and needed to produce a 5-foot putt for par. She accomplished with a nifty pitch from at the abet of the 18th green for par.
She let out a command when her final par putt dropped. This used to be a day when her swing used to be off and she managed to aid it collectively.
Korda used to be at 15-under 198 as she tries to add a gold medal to a one year wherein she won her first fundamental and reached No. 1 on the earth.
At the abet of her used to be any other fight shaping up for the bronze.
Mone Inami of Japan, given the honor of hitting the opening tee shot, neglected a 7-foot par putt on the final hole for a 68. She used to be 5 shots at the abet of in a four-manner tie for third with Ko (66), Hannah Green of Australia (67) and Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark (70).
Inami said she spoke quick to Hideki Matsuyama, who used to be eliminated in a seven-manner playoff for the bronze in the boys’s tournament.
“He said that because he wasn’t able to desire the medal on the boys’s facet he wished us staunch success on the girls’s facet,” she said.
The scenario used to be a ways varied from closing week with the boys’s competition, when eight gamers had been separated by four shots going into the final spherical. Originate air of Ashok, the closest gamers to Korda had been 5 shots abet.
One of them used to be Ko, the silver medalist from Rio de Janeiro, who talked about how Minjee Lee came from seven at the abet of on the final day to desire the Evian Championship two weeks ago for her first LPGA fundamental.
“You may almost definitely maybe by no manner stop. I devour it is a ways never foremost how many shots abet you are,” Ko said. “Rory Sabbatini shot 10 under on the closing day closing week to was the silver medalist. Most continuously I factual don’t think it is most likely you’ll almost definitely depend your self out of it.”
As a minimum there may be an cheap chance, thanks to Korda now not making any other birdie after No. 6.
Ashok stayed shut, even after a bogey from the bunker on No. 9 and a three-putt bogey from some 60 toes on the 11th hole.
She holed birdie putts of 18 toes and 15 toes on the closing four holes, and her nervy par on the 18th kept her in vary of Korda, with high hopes for bringing dwelling a medal.
“Yet any other day of golf and loads occurs on the final day,” Ashok said. “Most continuously the final day, though it’s factual one spherical, it feels long mentally. So for sure staying patient, and hoping we now occupy staunch weather and hope I play staunch the next day.”
Officials occupy said they’d opt on to revert to a 54-hole tournament if storms produce it now not capability to procure — the forecast is even worse for Sunday, the day the Olympics shut.
The first team goes off Saturday at 6: 30 a.m.