World No. 1 Nelly Korda bounced back from a late triple bogey to win the Pelican Women’s Championship in a playoff.
After dropping three shots on the 17th hole, Korda bounced back with a terrific birdie on No. 18 to reach 17-under par, and join Lydia Ko (66), Sei Young Kim (67), and Lexi Thompson (69) in a playoff.
Playing 18 in a sudden-death format, Korda dropped a 23-footer for birdie to quickly end overtime and capture her fourth victory the 2021 LPGA season.
“I honestly lost hope,” said Korda, referencing the triple-bogey. “I was like, ‘Okay, just try to make a solid par because 18 is a really tough hole. If you have a chance for birdie, then try and go after it.’
“But my caddie [Jason McDede] really kept me in the moment and I didn’t give up. Thank God I didn’t.
“Jason was like, ‘I want you to take one minute and just think positive thoughts, no negativity.’ So, I just thought about the putts I made, particularly No. 6.
“I made that right-to-left birdie putt, so I thought about that and just seeing the ball go in the hole.”
In addition to the four LPGA titles, including her first major, Korda won the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I think the major [KPMG Women’s PGA Championship] was the hardest because it was back-to-back events. It was my first major and that’s what I wanted for so, so long,” said Korda.
“Growing up, I didn’t think, ‘Okay, I want to play in the Olympics. I want to win a gold medal.’ It was, ‘I want to win a major.’ That one definitely ranks really high up.
“But the gold medal, you know, comes once every four years. It’s such an honor to stand on that podium in front of the flag and put your hand across your chest. I had chills go through my entire body and I got really, really emotional. Thankfully I had the mask on.
“I always say that every event has a different meaning and every event has a special meaning to me, but obviously my first major, the gold medal, winning in front of my parents for the first time in [Lake] Nona, coming back, having all these expectations on me, not playing for a while and winning here, winning at Meijer [LPGA Classic] after missing the cut at the U.S. Open, being so down. Every win is special.”
Brooke Henderson (65) rounded out the top 5 finishers.
Pelican Women’s Championship
Leaderboard: Top 5
Pos-Player-Score (Final Rd)
1. Nelly Korda -17 (-1)*
2. Sei Young Kim -17 (-3)
2. Lexi Thompson -17 (-1)
2. Lydia Ko -17 (-4)
5. Brooke Henderson -14 (-5)
* Won in a playoff