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Madelene Sagstrom, Rose Zhang pull away as Nelly Korda drops 11 back at Founders Cup

Madelene Sagstrom, Rose Zhang pull away as Nelly Korda drops 11 back at Founders Cup

CLIFTON, N.J. — Madelene Sagstrom and Rose Zhang left Nelly Korda and everyone else way behind Saturday in the Cognizant Founders Cup.

Trying to win a record sixth straight LPGA Tour event, Korda was 11 shots behind Sagstrom and 10 back of two-time NCAA champion Zhang with a round left at Upper Montclair Country Club.

After months of near-perfect play, Korda inexplicably hit bad drives, found bunkers from the fairway and missed short putts. She shot a 1-over 73.

Sagstrom, who has played well on this course the last three years, had a 66 to get to 19-under 197. Zhang, who won in her professional debut in New Jersey state a year ago, had a 67 after lipping out on a short birdie putt at No. 18.

Unless something unexpected happens, one of them will win their second LPGA Tour title. The 31-year-old Sagstrom has not won since 2020. The Swede had a bogey-free round of six birdies, highlighted by three in row on the last three holes on the front nine.

The 20-year-old Zhang, who won the Mizuho Americas Open in Jersey City last year, had seven birdies and two bogeys.

Korda was tied for third at 8 under with Sei Young Kim of South Korea and Gabriela Ruffels of Australia, who each shot 67.

Cognizant Founders Cup - Round Three
Cognizant Founders Cup - Round Three

Nelly Korda ‘poor in all aspects,’ her chance of six straight all but crushed

Korda is now 11 shots back of leader Madelene Sagstrom at the Cognizant Founders Cup.

The 25-year-old Korda had three birdies and four bogeys, the first coming on the opening hole after finding a bunker from the fairway.

The LPGA Tour record for largest deficit overcome in winning a tournament is 10 shots. It has been done three times with Mickey Wright (1964). Annika Sorenstam (2001) and Louise Friberg (2008 ).

Korda came into the tournament having taken two weeks off after winning the Chevron Championship. It was her fifth straight title and tied her with Hall of Famers Sorenstam (2004-05) and Nancy Lopez (1978) for the tour’s longest winning streak.