Despite inspiring rally, Nelly Korda and 5 other stars miss cut at U.S. Women’s Open

Nelly Korda at the U.S. Women's Open.

Nelly Korda headlines a star-studded list of MCs at the U.S. Women's Open.

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Nelly Korda arrived at the tee of Lancaster Country Club’s par-4 18th knowing she needed birdie to make the cut.

That’s not where anyone expected her to be entering the week; Korda arrived in Pennsylvania on a historic heater, with wins in six of her previous seven starts. It felt more likely that she’d lift the trophy than miss the weekend.

Still, after what had happened Thursday — a shocking septuple-bogey 10 on the third hole of an opening-round 80 — it took an inspiring charge just to get this close. Korda had begun her second round with bogey but had played splendidly since then, reeling off birdies at 7-8-9 to make the weekend a realistic possibility. A birdie at No. 18 would cap off a remarkable comeback. Get to Saturday and who knows what could happen next?

But Korda’s tee shot went left directly off the club face. She turned away in disgust, turning back only to shout “Fore!” (props for that, by the way) as the ball tumbled toward the crowd. There’s no good news in that shaggy left rough, so that was effectively it. Her U.S. Women’s Open was over. By the time she tapped in for bogey, it was official: She won’t win this event or even play the final two days. Her made-cut streak is over, too, after nearly a year. Women’s golf’s biggest weekend will be without its biggest star.

And Korda will hardly be the only star missing.

It’s no surprise that several good players are headed home at the halfway point. That’s an inevitability of cutting from 156 to just the top 60 and ties. But it is a surprise just how many big names ended up on the wrong side of the number, which settled at eight-over par.

Here are five more of ’em.

U.S. Women’s Open: 5 more surprising players to miss the cut

Rose Zhang

Surprising because: She’s No. 6 in the world and won in her second-to-last start. After Korda, Zhang is one of the biggest attractions on the LPGA; her presence will be missed. And like Korda, she did her damage on Thursday en route to a 79-72 week.

Brooke Henderson

Surprising because: Henderson never misses cuts! Her last MC came last summer at the AIG Women’s Open. And she’s finished inside the top 10 in five of her 10 starts in 2024. But Henderson shot 80-72 to miss the cut by four, which means Canada’s best hope is headed home, too.

Lexi Thompson

Surprising because: Thompson’s case is slightly different. It’s not shocking that Thompson missed a cut; she entered the week off three MCs in a row. But it’s jarring not to see her on the weekend because this week was the week she chose to announce her upcoming retirement from full-time competitive golf. We’ve just become so accustomed to seeing her on the weekend at this tournament in particular. A missed cut means two fewer chances to bid farewell.

lexi thompson tips her cap during the second round of the 2024 u.s. women's open
Lexi Thompson’s emotional message after U.S. Women’s Open missed cut
By: Zephyr Melton

Lydia Ko

Surprising because: The World No. 14 kicked off her 2024 with a win and a runner-up finish in her first two starts, and she hadn’t missed a cut until her most recent start. But now she’s missed two in a row after going 80-73.

Allisen Corpuz

Surprising because: She’s the defending champ. Corpuz won last year’s USWO at Pebble Beach but won’t repeat after shooting 75-77 to miss the cut by four.

Better news for…

One final note: This list could have been twice as long had the cut slipped a shot or two lower. Three of the world’s top eight players (Charley Hull, Celine Boutier and Hannah Green) finished at seven-over par, while a handful more of top pros (Jin Young Ko, Gabi Ruffels, Hyo Joo Kim, Megan Khang, Alison Lee, Madelene Sagstrom) finished at eight over.

They’ll each need a charge to get into contention. But at least they’ve made it to the weekend to have that chance.

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier

Golf.com Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/GOLF.com. The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and he’s the author of 18 in America, which details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living from his car and playing a round of golf in every state.

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