Korda rallies to win Pelican Women’s Championship, returns to No. 1

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A yr Nelly Korda would love to overlook is ending with the American star in a well-recognized place because the No. 1 participant in ladies’s golf.

Locked in a battle with Lexi Thompson alongside the again 9, Korda pulled forward with birdies on the sixteenth and seventeenth gap and held on for a 6-under 64 for a one-shot victory Sunday within the Pelican Women’s Championship in Belleair, Fla.

Hamilton’s Alena Sharp (69) completed 12 pictures again.

Korda received at Pelican Golf Club for the second straight yr, this one elevating her previous Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul to reclaim the No. 1 rating.

Korda began the yr at No. 1, however then she missed 4 months with a blood clot in her left arm and has been struggling to regain her type ever since. Her solely victory was within the Aramco Team Series in Spain on the Ladies European Tour.

‘It feels actually good to be on prime’

This was her first LPGA Tour title, and the tears when it was over had been evident how a lot it meant to her in spite of everything her struggles.

“Honestly, superb,” she stated about her return to No. 1. “It’s been a troublesome yr. I missed two cuts in Arkansas and Dallas, however I saved my head excessive and labored actually exhausting. It feels actually good to be on prime.”

Thompson ran off 4 straight birdies on the entrance 9 to take the lead, and Korda stayed proper along with her.

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Korda performs her strategy on the 14th gap through the remaining spherical on Sunday. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

They had been tied when Korda, within the group in entrance of Thompson, birdied the sixteenth. Then, Korda hit driver on the brief seventeenth that arrange a 10-foot birdie putt. Thompson could not match it. Her wedge was badly misjudged due to the spin, and it rolled all the way in which off the inexperienced and left Thompson scrambling for par.

It was the second straight yr Thompson, who hasn’t received on the LPGA Tour in additional than three years, let an opportunity to win at Pelican Golf Club get away from her.

A yr in the past, Korda birdied the 18th and Thompson made bogey, a two-shot swing that led to a playoff that Korda received with a birdie.

This time, Korda’s strategy to the 18th sailed over the inexperienced and he or she had to two-putt from some 30 ft to escape with bogey and submit a 14-under 196.

That gave Thompson an opportunity for a two-shot swing by making birdie to power a playoff. But she hooked her tee shot into mild tough, and her strategy from about 187 yards into the wind went proper and lengthy, narrowly avoiding the water.

Thompson’s pitch settled 2 ft away. The par gave her a 66 and a runner-up end.

Allisen Corpuz, an LPGA Tour rookie who began the ultimate spherical with a one-shot lead, birdied two of her final 4 holes for a 69 to end alone in third.

The main 60 gamers within the Race to the CME Globe advance to the season-ending Tour Championship subsequent week in Naples.

Maria Fassi of Mexico will not be becoming a member of them. The 24-year-old Mexican, who started the event with a 62 in quest of her first LPGA victory, was proper on the sting of creating it to the CME Group Tour Championship with two holes to play.

But she hit 3-wood off the seventeenth tee right into a bunker, caught it heavy and failed to save par from about 30 yards wanting the inexperienced. Needing par on the powerful 18th, Fassi left herself a 60-foot putt over two ridges. She did not get previous the second ridge, and the three-putt bogey gave her a 71 and a three-way tie for seventh.

Maude-Aimee Leblanc (72) of Sherbrooke, Que., completed at 2 over.

Fassi, who got here into the week at No. 72, completed at No. 65 within the factors race. The prime 63 get into Naples as a result of three gamers will not be going.

The remaining spot for the $7 million purse subsequent week — the winner will get $2 million, a file for girls’s golf — went to Ariya Jutanugarn, who had missed the lower at Pelican.

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