A major for Korda and world No. 1
Nelly Korda made her way to her first major championship with a performance worthy of her new status as the No. 1 player in women’s golf.
Korda nearly made a hole with an antler from 7 to 243 yards for a tap-in eagle, and she took control using her length on that graceful swing for another eagle that sent her down the path to victory. at the PGA Women’s Championship.
She finished with a 15-foot putt for a 68-year-old 4-under, which earned her a three-stroke victory over Lizette Salas at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
At 19 under 269, she tied the PGA Women’s Record in the last match tied by Inbee Park at Westchester Country Club in 2015.
Korda won for the second week in a row on the LPGA Tour – her third title this year – and that was enough to become the first American top since Stacy Lewis in 2014.
Jin Young Ko had held the top spot for nearly two years.
“I worked a lot,” said Korda, 22.
“To get three wins under my belt and get a major, I don’t even have words.”
The best Australian this week was 21-year-old Gabriela Ruffels, who struggled three of 75 on Sunday to finish tied for 33rd.
She had one shot better than Minjee Lee, who birdied four in her round of 70 tied for 40th, while Su Oh (74, six more) was well back.
For Korda, his only mistake came when it didn’t matter.
She took control with an iron in the 12th par-5 for the 8-foot eagle putt, a three-hit swing when Salas – who had to lie down on the hole – hit a wedge overhead off the green into a bunker and made a bogey.
Korda birdied 18 feet over the No.14 to extend his lead to five strokes with four holes left.
She completed 49 straight bogey-free holes hitting the water at the 15th par-3 for a double bogey.
But she stabilized with a pair of pars and played it cautiously in the closing hole of par 5 over the water.
Salas finished with a 71 in his attempt to win a first major tournament and his first LPGA Tour title in seven years.
Korda’s older sister, Jessica, was among the first to kiss him on the 18th green as tears began to flow, and soon after, the new major champion was doused with champagne.
Jessica Korda finished much earlier – they shared a hug as Nelly took the start and Jessica took the tour – although the older brother has another reason to celebrate.
She easily took fourth place in the United States for the Olympics in Japan.