Women's British Open 2021: Korda, Sagstrom, Kim Share Lead After Round 1

Adam WellsAugust 19, 2021

United States' Nelly Korda looks at her putt on the 18th green during the first round of the Women's British Open golf championship, in Carnoustie, Scotland, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
AP Photo/Scott Heppell

Nelly Korda's quest to win her second major in 2021 is off to a fantastic start thanks to her performance in round one of the Women's British Open. 

Korda, Madelene Sagstrom and Sei Young Kim are tied for the lead at five-under par. The top of the leaderboard is extremely crowded, with 40 players under par through 18 holes. 

Sagstrom's showing on Thursday was a pleasant surprise. The 28-year-old hasn't finished inside the top 10 in her 11 LPGA Tour events coming into this week's tournament. 

Kim, the No. 4 ranked player in the world, is looking to rebound after a disappointing 38th-place finish at the Evian Championship last month. 

2021 Women's British Open Leaderboard

T1. Nelly Korda (-5)

T1. Madelene Sagstrom (-5)

T1. Sei Young Kim (-5)

T4. Andrea Lee (-4)

T4. Georgia Hall (-4)

T4. Louise Duncan (-4)

T4, Yuka Saso (-4)

T8. Lexi Thompson (-3)

T9. Lizette Salas (-3)

T9. Carlotta Ciganda (-3)

Full leaderboard via AIGWomensOpen.com

Korda is in the midst of the hottest stretch of her career. She won back-to-back tournaments at the LPGA Classic and Women's PGA Championship in June. The latter win marked her first major championship. 

A 74 in the first round at the Evian Championship cost Korda a chance at becoming the first player to win consecutive majors since Inbee Park in 2013. The 23-year-old got to five-under par today with eight birdies and three bogeys. 

AIG Women’s Open @AIGWomensOpen

The world number one is right in the mix ⛳<br><br>Nelly Korda with a great approach to the 17th 👍<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AIGWO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AIGWO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldClass?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldClass</a> <a href="https://t.co/S82IUJGZET">pic.twitter.com/S82IUJGZET</a>

One of her birdies came on the par-five sixth hole. It was the only par five she didn't bogey in the round. She closed the day with back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 to finish tied for the top spot. 

Sagstrom showed more consistency from hole to hole than Korda to match her at five-under par. The Sweden native had four birdies on the front nine, three on the back nine and just two bogeys. 

Her long putt on No. 14 to save par was a crucial moment, as she was trying to keep pace with Korda and Kim. 

AIG Women’s Open @AIGWomensOpen

What a day Madelene Sagstrom is having.<br><br>A superb putt on 14 keeps the leader at -5 and two clear 👌<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AIGWO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AIGWO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldClass?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldClass</a> <a href="https://t.co/eKowokJYxJ">pic.twitter.com/eKowokJYxJ</a>

Kim did the bulk of her damage on Thursday over an eight-hole stretch from No. 6 through 14. The 28-year-old had all six of her birdies during that run. Her streak was broken on No. 15 when she hit her only bogey of the round. 

Among the players chasing that trio atop the leaderboard, Louise Duncan at four-under par is a surprise. The Scotland native is a 21-year-old amateur playing in her first major tournament, though she showed the poise of a seasoned veteran on this stage. 

AIG Women’s Open @AIGWomensOpen

Women's Amateur Champion and Scot Louise Duncan is putting on a show here <a href="https://twitter.com/carnoustiegolf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@carnoustiegolf</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AIGWO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AIGWO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldClass?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldClass</a> <a href="https://t.co/8d7JjXTLbk">pic.twitter.com/8d7JjXTLbk</a>

There have been three amateur players who won the Women's British Open, though none since Marta Figueras-Dotti in 1982. 

Another player in contention who, like Norda, is seeking her second major title of the year is Yuka Saso. The 20-year-old won the U.S. Women's Open in June for her first career victory. 

Saso is among the group of players tied for fourth at four-under par. Her biggest moment in the first round came on No. 12 when she chipped in just off the green for an eagle. 

AIG Women’s Open @AIGWomensOpen

Another eagle! 🐦<br><br>Yuka Saso makes a three at the 12th and climbs to three under 👌<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AIGWO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AIGWO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldClass?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldClass</a> <a href="https://t.co/Glk97tpCGP">pic.twitter.com/Glk97tpCGP</a>

Defending champion Sophia Popov finished the day with an even-par 72. She did overcome a three-shot deficit after the first round last year to win, and there's still time for her to get back into the mix. 

The second round is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 a.m. ET. Kim's group, which also includes Popov, will hit the course at 2:25 a.m. ET. Korda will tee off at 7:49 a.m. ET, followed by Sagstrom's group at 8:27 a.m. ET.