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Nelly Korda American Golfer Lifts 9th LPGA Tour Title defeating Lydia Ko in sudden-death playoff

Nelly never imagined that her return home would include a rollercoaster trip.

The Bradenton native, who was leading by four shots going into the final round of the LPGA Drive On Championship on Sunday, surrendered the lead on the back nine but tied it up on the last two holes to send the match into a sudden-death playoff with Lydia Ko. Subsequently, the golfer who had not won on the Tour since 2022 ensured that 2024 would be unique by winning the tournament at Bradenton Country Club on the second playoff hole.

With the win, Korda achieved her ninth LPGA Tour title and her first since winning the Pelican Women’s Championship in November 2022. She also gained 500 points in the Race to the CME Globe and a $262,500 first-place prize. She shot 2-over-par 73 on Sunday and finished the tournament at minus-11, the same as Ko, the winner of the LPGA Tour’s first event last week.

Korda remarked, “Gosh, I thought that the tournament was over going into 17.” “I simply gave myself an opportunity.” I knew I would have to birdie the final hole if I rolled the eagle in.

Yes, I always tend to make it incredibly dramatic and engaging, so performing in front of your family and friends is the best feeling ever. What a day it was.

“There, it was such a back-and-forth grind. I had the impression that I was never truly in the zone. But really, right now, I just can’t believe it.

The 26-year-old Ko received $163,689 in second place as payment for her efforts. After winning the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions last week, Ko was just one point away from becoming the 27th player to be inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame. However, Korda’s comeback cost her that point, making Ko the youngest player to ever be inducted under the current rules at 26 years, 9 months, and 4 days.

At minus-8, Megan Khang came in behind Korda and Ko with $118,745. Lucy Li and Ayaka Furue, who each took home $82,897, tied for fourth place. At minus-6, Auston Kim and Xiyu Lin shared sixth position. Each of them received $55,564.

For Korda, a planned homecoming that lasted over the first three days of the competition went horribly wrong. The top-ranked golfer in the world made two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine, wiping out her four-shot lead at the start of the day. Ko was able to capitalize on the fade.

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