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Nelly Korda Beats Lydia Ko to Win LPGA Drive On Championship

Nelly Korda Overcomes Lydia Ko to Win LPGA Drive On Championship
(The Canadian Press/Alamy)

Nelly Korda secured her ninth title on the LPGA Tour thanks to a tight play-off victory over Lydia Ko in the LPGA Drive On Championship in Florida.

The 25-year-old American went into the final round with a four-shot lead over New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and that lead increased as Ko sunk an early double-bogey. However, the World No. 3 fought back with four birdies in the following eight to put pressure on Korda.

Ko went onto set a target of 11 under after closing with a two-under 69 but Korda charged back with an eagle on the 17th and birdie on the 18th to match Ko and force a play-off.

The play-off took place on the 18th which saw both Korda and Ko make par on the first hole but the second saw Korda snatch victory away from Ko after last week’s winner, who was searching for back-to-back wins on the LPGA Tour, bogeyed and Korda parred to seal victory.

“I thought that the tournament was over going into 17,” Korda said. “I just kind of gave myself a chance. I knew that if I rolled that eagle in, I had to birdie the last hole.

“I seem to always make it very dramatic and interesting, so there is no better feeling than to do it in front of a home crowd. It was such a grind out there, so back and forth. I felt like I never really got anything going, but I just can’t even believe it right now!”

Ko, who was looking to become the first player since Ai Miyazato in 2010 to win the first two events of the LPGA Tour season, said: I played really solidly today. I had a few three-putts today and I think that was at the end what I think cost the tournament.”

The next event on the LPGA Tour is Honda LPGA Thailand taking place between 22-25 February at Siam Country Club.