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By Ben Parsons at Carnoustie
Nelly Korda revealed she took advice from former Women’s Open champion Karen Stupples to help adapt to links golf after an impressive start at Carnoustie.
The world number one took advantage of relatively serene conditions to card eight birdies in a first round 67, her iron play in particular imperious.
And a superb birdie-birdie finish leaves the 23-year-old poised for an assault at her first AIG Women’s Open title.
All eyes are on Korda this week as she aims to make it four wins in a remarkable season, but she is not fazed by her new status as an elite sporting star.
“I try to take the mindset of every day's a new day,” she added. “It doesn't matter what my ranking is. Everyone's going into this event prepared and wanting to win. That's kind of like the mindset that I try to take into every event.
“Obviously, there's expectations, but you just try to settle down and keep your head down and go with the flow.”
— AIG Women’s Open (@AIGWomensOpen) August 19, 2021
Korda arrived in Scotland fresh from Olympic gold and is targeting her second major title after PGA Championship success in Atlanta.
The unique links setup is unfamiliar to the American, and she sought advice from Stupples, who won at Surrey jewel Sunningdale in 2004, during her final practice round on Wednesday.
“I talked to Karen Stupples a little, and she was telling me that if you're in the bunkers in the fairways, it's very penalising,” she said.
“Today was fine because it wasn't so windy so you can be aggressive, but when the wind gets obviously stronger, just taking that 4-iron and giving yourself another 4-iron in because it's easier to make an up-and-down from the green than to pitch out from the bunker and then having 170 yards in again.
“Over the years that I've kind of played links golf, I've learned that it's just better to have longer clubs in, and it's just a different style of golf. It wasn't windy today, so you could take advantage of a little bit of the softer greens from the rain."