BELLEAIR (Fla.) — Nelly Korda is ending a year that she would like to forget. American star Nelly Korda is now the No. The No. 1 player in womens Golf
Lexi Thompson was locked in a battle along the back nine. Korda won with birdies on 16th and 17th holes. Korda held on for a 6-under 64 victory Sunday in Pelican Women’s Champion.
Korda won at Pelican golf club for the second consecutive year. This one elevated Atthaya Thitikul, her Thai teenage sister, to the No. 1 ranking. 1 ranking.
Korda was No. 1 in the year. 1, but she lost four months due to a bloodclot in her left arm. She has struggled to regain form since then. Her only win was in the Aramco Team Series in Spain, on the Ladies European Tour.
This was her first LPGA Tour title of the year. Her tears when it was over were a testament to how much she loved it after all her struggles.
She described her return to No. 1. Its been an awful year. I missed two cuts in Arkansas, Dallas, but I kept my head up and worked hard. It feels great to be on top.
Thompson finished the nine-hole course with four straight birdies to take the lead. Korda followed her closely.
They tied when Thompson birdied the 16th hole by Korda, who was in the group ahead of Thompson. Korda then hit driver on the short 17th for a 10-foot birdie. Thompson couldnt match it. Thompson couldnt match it because her wedge was badly misjudged by the spin. It rolled all the ways off the green, leaving Thompson scrambling to make par.
Thompson, who hadnt won on LPGA Tour in more that three years, lost the chance to win at Pelican golf club.
A year ago, Korda birdied 18th hole and Thompson made bogey. This was a two-shot swing which led to a playoff in which Korda won with birdie.
Kordas approach was to the 18th green this time and she had a difficult two-putt from about 30 feet to escape with Bogey and post a 14 under 196.
Thompson was able to make birdie to force a playoff, and had a chance at a two-shot swing. She hooked her tee shot in light rough and her approach from approximately 187 yards into wind went right and long, narrowly missing the water.
Thompsons pitch settled at 2 feet. The par earned Thompson a 66 and a second-place finish.
Allisen Corpuz was a rookie on the LPGA Tour who began the final round with a one shot lead. However, she birdied two of her last four holes to score a 69 and finish in third place.
The Race to the CME Globes 60 top players advance to the season-ending Tour Championship next Wednesday in Naples.
Maria Fassi, a Mexican player, wont be joining them. The 24-year old, who started the tournament with a 62 in search for her first LPGA victory was right on the brink of making it to CME Group Tour Championship with just two holes to play.
Fassi hit 3-wood off her 17th tee into the bunker, but it was too heavy for her to save par. She was only 30 yards short of the green. Fassi needed par on the 18th hole and left herself a 60-foot putt that crossed two ridges. Fassi couldnt make it past the second ridge and her three-putt bogey earned her a 71. She tied for seventh with a tie for third.
Fassi, who was No. 72, Fassi finished at No. 65 in the points race. The top 63 players will be allowed to Naples, as three other players wont.
Ariya Jutanugarn took the final spot in the $7million purse next week. She had previously missed the cut at Pelican.