Korda rallies to win in Alabama
05/25/2014 8:11 PM
05/25/2014 8:11 PM
Mobile, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jessica Korda birdied six of the last nine holes on Sunday to rally and win the Airbus LPGA Classic.
Korda closed with a 7-under 65 to finish her third LPGA Tour victory at 20- under-par 268. This was Korda's second title of the season.
"I have not been playing well since I basically won in the Bahamas, and I'm still trying to work on the same swing thoughts that I have been working on, so for it to finally pay off here is really nice," Korda said.
Third-round leader Anna Nordqvist birdied the last for a 3-under 69. That left her alone in second place at minus-19 on the Crossings Course at RTJ Golf Trail at Magnolia Grove.
Michelle Wie and Charley Hull both closed with 5-under 67s. They were joined in third place by Catriona Matthew (69). Jenny Shin shot 67 and ended alone in sixth at 17-under 271.
Wie birdied four of the first seven holes to take the lead from Matthew, but it was Korda's closing run that propelled her to the title.
Korda parred the first six holes before dropping in her first birdie try on No. 7. She parred eight and nine to make the turn at 14-under. She trailed her playing partner, Wie, by three at that point.
The Pure-Silk Bahamas winner started to make her move with birdies on 10 and 12. Korda poured in a 20-footer for birdie on the par-3 14th to gain a share of the lead at minus-17.
Korda followed with another long birdie putt on 15. Then she got up and down for birdie on the par-5 16th to move two clear of the field.
After a par on 17, Korda birdied the 18th to post 20-under.
"I've been working really hard on my short game. I've actually been working with Paul Azinger a lot at home because he's also from Bradenton, Florida. It just takes a while for it to click and put my old driver back into play, and I just felt really comfortable," Korda stated. "I love coming back here. This feels very comfortable, I feel very much at home here, and so I wouldn't say I was expecting to win, but I was definitely expecting to play well."
Wie and Hull, who played with Korda, parred the final two holes to end two behind.
"I knew I needed a low score. I got hot starting out and just didn't quite get it together on the back nine, but still I shot 5-under today and there's really nothing I can do," Wie admitted. "I knew I needed a low number and I just didn't go low enough."
Matthew, who was in the last group with Nordqvist and Stacy Lewis, birdied three of four holes from the 13th, but that helped her get to minus-18 after bogeys on 10 and 12.
It was all up to Nordqvist. The Swede was even-par through 11 holes before birdies on the par-5s, 13 and 16, got her within two. After a par on 17, Nordqvist managed a birdie at the last for solo second as she finished one shot back.
Lewis had a chance to take over the top spot in the world rankings, but managed a 1-under 71, which dropped her into a share of 10th at 15-under 273. She needed a solo third-place finish or better to move into the top spot in the world rankings on Monday.
NOTES: Korda earned $195,000 for the win, and is projected to move to No. 16 on the world rankings on Monday ... She joined Karrie Webb and Nordqvist as the only multiple winners on the LPGA Tour this year ... The tour heads to the Jersey shore next week for the ShopRite LPGA Classic, where Karrie Webb beat Shanshan Feng by two in the 3-day event last year.