Nelly Korda, Allisen Corpuz help U.S. maintain lead at Solheim Cup

by Joanne Miller

Nelly Korda Finds a Suitable Replacement in Allisen Corpuz at the Solheim Cup

In the Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin, Nelly Korda was left wondering who her partner would be in the alternate-shot matches this year. Her older sister, Jessica Korda, is not part of the U.S. team. The Korda sisters have proven to be a formidable duo in previous Solheim Cups, with a 2-1 record in the matches they played together in 2019 and 2021. However, Nelly may have found a suitable replacement in Allisen Corpuz, the U.S. Women’s Open champion.

Korda and Corpuz secured a commanding 5 & 3 victory over Georgia Hall of England and Celine Boutier of France on Saturday morning. This win helped the U.S. maintain a 7-5 lead over the Europeans and marked the second victory for Korda and Corpuz in as many days. Reflecting on their performance, Korda remarked, “Allisen and I just played really well the past two days. I think we just bonded really well on the golf course. We didn’t make too many mistakes, especially today, and we rolled in a lot of putts.”

Jessica Korda, who is five years older than Nelly, had to step away from the game in May due to a back injury. She later announced in August that she is expecting her first child. Corpuz, on the other hand, claimed her first LPGA Tour victory by winning the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California in June. As a rookie in the Ryder Cup, Corpuz admitted that having someone like Korda by her side has helped calm her nerves. She mentioned, “I think Nelly is really calm, which is kind of what I need. I play [with] pretty low energy. Obviously, she has the experience as well. So just knowing that having someone like her by my side has helped me a lot to get comfortable.”

While the Europeans managed to clinch the first point of Saturday morning’s session, thanks to Emily K. Pedersen of Denmark and Carlota Ciganda of Spain defeating Lilia Vu and Jennifer Kupcho, the U.S. team quickly regained momentum with Korda and Corpuz’s victory. Lexi Thompson and Megan Khang also contributed to the U.S.’s lead with a 1-up victory over Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and Leona Maguire of Ireland.

The European team, however, wasn’t deterred and stayed within two points after Linn Grant and Maja Stark of Sweden defeated Danielle Kang and Andrea Lee in the final match. Stark made a crucial long putt on the 17th hole, followed by Grant’s impressive putt on the 18th to secure the win.

As the competition continues, four four-ball (best ball) matches are scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon, followed by 12 head-to-head singles matches on Sunday. Europe will retain the Solheim Cup with 14 points, while the U.S. will need 14½ points to claim victory. The Korda-Corpuz partnership has certainly made a significant contribution to the U.S. team’s success so far, and their performances will be highly anticipated in the remainder of the tournament.

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