BELLEAIR, Fla. — A 12 months Nelly Korda wish to overlook is ending with the American star in a well-recognized place because the No. 1 participant in ladies’s golf.
Locked in a battle with Lexi Thompson alongside the again 9, Korda pulled forward with birdies on the sixteenth and seventeenth holes and held on for a 6-under 64 for a one-shot victory Sunday within the Pelican Ladies’s Championship.
Korda received at Pelican Golf Membership for the second straight 12 months, this one elevating her previous Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul to reclaim the No. 1 rating.
Korda began the 12 months at No. 1, however then she missed 4 months with a blood clot in her left arm and has been struggling to regain her type ever since. Her solely victory was within the Aramco Workforce Collection in Spain on the Women European Tour.
This was her first LPGA Tour title this 12 months, and the tears when it was over had been proof of how a lot it meant to her in any case her struggles.
“Actually, wonderful,” she mentioned about her return to No. 1. “It has been a troublesome 12 months. I missed two cuts in Arkansas and Dallas, however I saved my head excessive and labored actually onerous. It feels actually good to be on high.”
Thompson ran off 4 straight birdies on the entrance 9 to take the lead, and Korda stayed proper along with her.
They had been tied when Korda, within the group in entrance of Thompson, birdied the sixteenth. Then, Korda hit driver on the quick seventeenth to arrange a 10-foot birdie putt. Thompson could not match it. Her wedge was badly misjudged due to the spin, and it rolled all the best way off the inexperienced and left Thompson scrambling for par.
It was the second straight 12 months Thompson, who hasn’t received on the LPGA Tour in additional than three years, let an opportunity to win at Pelican Golf Membership get away from her.
A 12 months in the past, Korda birdied the 18th and Thompson made bogey, a two-shot swing that led to a playoff that Korda received with a birdie.
This time, Korda’s strategy to the 18th sailed over the inexperienced and he or she needed to two-putt from some 30 toes to flee with bogey and publish a 14-under 196.
That gave Thompson an opportunity for a two-shot swing by making birdie to pressure a playoff. However she hooked her tee shot into gentle tough, and her strategy from about 187 yards into the wind went proper and lengthy, narrowly avoiding the water.
Thompson’s pitch settled 2 toes away. The par gave her a 66 and a runner-up end.
Allisen Corpuz, an LPGA Tour rookie who began the ultimate spherical with a one-shot lead, birdied two of her final 4 holes for a 69 to complete alone in third.
The main 60 gamers within the Race to the CME Globe advance to the season-ending Tour Championship subsequent week in Naples.
Maria Fassi of Mexico will not be becoming a member of them. The 24-year-old, who started the match with a 62 looking for her first LPGA victory, was proper on the sting of creating it to the CME Group Tour Championship with two holes to play.
However she hit 3-wood off the seventeenth tee right into a bunker, caught it heavy and failed to save lots of par from about 30 yards wanting the inexperienced. Needing par on the powerful 18th, Fassi left herself a 60-foot putt over two ridges. She did not get previous the second ridge, and the three-putt bogey gave her a 71 and a three-way tie for seventh.
Fassi, who got here into the week at No. 72, completed at No. 65 within the factors race. The highest 63 get into Naples as a result of three gamers will not be going.
The ultimate spot for the $7 million purse subsequent week — the winner will get $2 million, a document for ladies’s golf — went to Ariya Jutanugarn, who had missed the minimize at Pelican.