Golf Asia


Nelly Korda Captures First Major To Become World No.1


Nelly Korda won the Women’s PGA Championsh­ip to capture her first major title and become the first American since 2014 to seize the world number one ranking.

The 22-year-old Korda made two eagles in outduellin­g compatriot Lizette Salas down the stretch for a three-stroke triumph. “I’ve put in a lot of work,” Korda said. “And to finally get three wins under my belt this year and a major championsh­ip, I don’t even have words, honestly.”

Korda fired a four-under-par 68 to finish 72 holes on 19-under 269 at Atlanta Athletic Club with Salas on 272 after a closing 71.

Jumping from third to first in the rankings, Korda overtakes South Korea’s number one Ko Jin-young and secondrank­ed Park In-bee to become the first American atop the rankings since Stacy Lewis in October 2014 and only the third US player atop the list since it began in 2006 after Lewis and Cristie Kerr.

As the first American to win a major women’s golf title since Angela Stafford at the 2018 Evian, Korda said, “This is something

I’ve worked for since I was 14, I’ve wanted to win a major since I played in my first one. To finally get it done here in Atlanta with such an amazing crowd, it was something special.”

Her third LPGA victory of the year comes just a week after her LPGA Meijer Classic win. “I had a great week last week and carried the momentum into this week.”

Korda birdied the par-4 third to grab a one-stroke lead over Salas, then hit a 7-wood 243 yards to within inches of the cup for a tap-in eagle at the par5 fifth to reach 18-under.

Salas opened with a pair of par saves before adding an eight-foot birdie putt at the fifth and a tap-in birdie at six to pull within one of Korda, who was battling nerves.

The turning point came at the par-5 12th, when Korda dropped her second shot within five feet of the cup.

Salas meanwhile sent her third into a bunker and blasted out 15 feet beyond the hole to miss her par putt while Korda rolled in her eagle putt to reach 20-under par, the three-shot swing giving Korda a four-stroke edge.

A long birdie putt at the 14th to reach 21-under stretched Korda’s lead to five strokes with four holes remaining, making her a threat to break the record for the lowest 72-hole score in women’s major golf history - the 21-under 263 by South Korea’s Chun In-gee at the 2016 Evian Championsh­ip.

But after a lengthy wait at the par-3 15th, Korda hit her tee shot into water and went on to make double bogey, ending her run of 49 consecutiv­e holes without a bogey and trimming her lead to three.

Korda responded by parring her way home, ending emphatical­ly with a long final putt for victory.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Hong Kong