A fan picks up Nelli Korda’s golf ball while still in the game at the Evian Championship.

It was a strange scenario Nelly Korda ended up in Evian Championship Sunday, in Evian-les-Bains, France, as an American golfer the ball, which had just stopped, was picked up by a spectator.

The 2021 PGA Women’s Championship winner got off to a strong start in the final round of the Major, starting with two back-to-back birdies to move closer to the top group. However, disaster struck on the sixth par-four when her incoming shot bounced off into the trees and stopped in the wood chips along the spectators’ path.

Unbeknownst to Korda, her situation was about to get worse when a nearby supporter spotted the ball and picked it up. Smiling and holding it up in front of her, she walked over to the nearest official to present her find, seemingly unaware that she had done anything wrong.

The spectator picks up Korda's ball.
“This is not a souvenir!” said commentator Grant Boone in a video posted on Twitter on Sky Sports Golf, adding that the viewer is “in big trouble now”.

The referee quickly approached the spectator and directed her back to the place where she found the ball. There she tossed him back to the ground before throwing a distressed look at the steward.

Korda found out about the incident upon arriving at the ball and was given the best lie, but continued with the double scarecrow, dropping it back to equal par for the round. It was the only double bogey she hit on any of the 72 holes throughout the event.

Korda plays tee on the 13th hole.

The 24-year-old’s initial reaction to the incident was resolute: the birdie and the eagle crossed the next three holes, but her nine-point lead robbed her of her chance to challenge for the championship.

She finished the tournament 13 under par in eighth place, four strokes behind winner Brooke Henderson. The Canadian took her second major title with three birdies on the final five holes, one shot ahead of American Sophia Schubert.