BRADENTON, Fla. — Nelly Korda rallied to win her hometown LPGA Drive On Championship and delay Lydia Ko‘s LPGA Corridor of Fame entry, outlasting the New Zealander on the second gap of a playoff Sunday after overcoming a three-stroke deficit with an eagle-birdie end.
In calmer situations after wind gusts to 30 mph at Bradenton Nation Membership, Korda received with a 3-foot par putt on the par-4 18th after Ko’s 4-footer caught the lip and spun out.
“I appear to all the time make it very dramatic and fascinating,” Korda mentioned. “So, there isn’t any higher feeling than to do it in entrance of a house crowd. What a day!”
Ko received the season-opening Event of Champions final week at residence in Orlando for her twentieth tour victory to maneuver inside a degree of qualifying for the Corridor of Fame.
“It is form of like, `What are you able to do?'” Ko mentioned. “We performed our hearts out till the very finish and we put ourself into the playoff. I attempted my finest on the market.”
4 strokes forward of Ko starting play Sunday, Korda shot a 2-over 73 to match Ko at 11-under 273. Ko, enjoying within the group forward of Korda, additionally eagled the par-5 seventeenth in a 69.
Korda dropped 4 strokes in a three-hole stretch — making a bogey on the par-4 14th, a double bogey on the par-3 fifteenth and a bogey on the par-4 sixteenth — earlier than rallying with the eagle putt throughout the inexperienced on 17 and an method to a foot on 18.
“Gosh, I believed that the match was over going into 17,” Korda mentioned. “I simply form of gave myself an opportunity. I knew that if I rolled that eagle in I needed to birdie the final.”
On the primary additional journey down 18, Korda missed a 12-foot birdie strive from the again fringe after Ko received up-and-down for par after hitting to the grandstand wall over the inexperienced.
On the second playoff gap, Korda went lengthy to the wall and chipped to arrange the profitable putt.
“Each win has a narrative,” mentioned Korda. “This one was positively – simply with the struggles of final yr and simply with right this moment as nicely, I believed I utterly misplaced it.”
Quickly after the victory, she talked to sister Jessica, the man tour star who’s near giving delivery to her first youngster — a boy.
“She was like, ‘I believed you had been going to ship me into labor,'” the winner mentioned.
Ko three-putted after leaving her 30-foot birdie putt quick.
“Clearly, I three-putted the second playoff gap, however aside from that I do not really feel like I misplaced the match,” Ko mentioned. “I made an important eagle on 17, nice par on 18, after which Nelly simply went eagle as nicely after which birdied the final.”
Feeding off the house crowd, the 25-year-old Korda led wire-to-wire for the primary time in her profession en path to her ninth LPGA Tour victory and first for the reason that 2022 Pelican Girls’s Championship.
“I believe even once I was down they had been so, so constructive and protecting me in it,” Korda mentioned. “It was such a grind on the market, so forwards and backwards. I felt like I by no means actually received something going. I simply cannot even imagine it proper now.”