Lancaster Country Club sapped Nelly Korda’s superpowers Thursday, with the six-time winner this season carding an 80, the first 10-over-par round of her eight-year career. On Friday, needing a red-figure effort to make the weekend, Korda’s talent emerged with an even-par 70, but the 10-stroke turnaround still was not enough for the World No. 1 to make the weekend in the U.S. Women’s Open. At 10 over, she was two strokes shy of the cutline.

“I knew it was going to be a tough day,” Korda said. “There’s not many low scores out here, and I was pretty far back.”

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Korda’s missed cut ends an impressive streak of consistency. This is her first time missing the cut after 17 start successes, going back to last June at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Korda’s T-86 finish had more people beat her this week than her last 12 tournaments combined, dating to last October at the BMW Ladies Championship.

On Friday, Korda, 25, started her round wide right off her first tee, missing the drive badly enough that she ended up in the ninth fairway. Beginning the second round with a bogey felt as if the Bradenton, Fla., native hadn’t shaken off the struggles of her first round, with fears of how far she could continue to plummet down the leaderboard.

Korda’s resolve showed after that, as she strung together three consecutive birdies from the sixth through eighth to get inside the cutline. Following a bogey on No. 9, Korda made the turn at one under for the day.

“When I made those three birdies in a row, I wanted to make the cut, obviously,” Korda noted. “I knew that I was kind of hovering around it, and I just couldn’t get anything going on the back.”

The 161-yard par-3 12th nearly proved her undoing once again. She posted the first 10 of her career on the hole Thursday and seemed destined to put a fourth ball into the creek as her too-short tee shot to a back pin trickled down the false front. As if the golf gods wanted to pay off an IOU, the rough near the false front of the green snagged the ball before it dipped into the creek. Korda turned staying dry in Amish country into a crucial 20-foot par save.

“It was nice to make a par,” Korda said. “I wanted to make a birdie to get my revenge on that hole, but par will do.”

Korda’s best chance for another needed birdie came on the par-5 13th, the only hole to play under par Friday. Her 16-foot putt for a 4 never touched the cup.

Korda saved a nine-foot par on the 16th to extend her bogey-free back nine, but she needed birdies on the 17th and 18th for a chance to make the cut. Her 32-foot birdie effort on the next-to-last hole nestled just above the cup. Korda’s drive into the native area on the 18th didn’t give her a chance for an eagle. The 13-time winner ended up with a bogey and fell two shots short of the cut despite leading the field in strokes gained/putting (4.96) on Friday.

“I wasn’t hitting my shots well off the tee,” Korda explained. “I really struggled off the tee this week. Just wasn’t getting it close. The majority of my holes I was saving pars. It was kind of tough out here trying to get into the cut line.”

Korda only hit 44 percent of the fairways over her first two rounds, and she lost nearly a half-stroke (.44) in off-the-tee performance. She was 1.25 worse than the rest of her 2024 season, according to KPMG Performance Insights.

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