Korda wins LPGA season opener

Korda wins LPGA season opener

Jessica Korda has won the LPGA Tour’s season-opening Bahamas Classic for her second tour title, holing a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat Stacy Lewis by a stroke.


The 20-year-old Korda closed with a seven-under-par 66 for a 19-under 273 total on Atlantis Resort’s Ocean Club course. Lewis parred the final four holes – two of them par 5s – for a 66.

Korda’s father, Petr, won the 1998 Australian Open tennis grand slam title and her mother, Regina Raichrtova was also a professional tennis player.

Her previous LPGA title came at the 2012 Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne – also a season-opening event.

“Maybe I pay attention more to detail, and I’m more relaxed (in the first event of the season,” said Korda. “I don’t know, but whatever it is I need to figure it out and do it more often.”

She earned $US195,000 ($A223,200) for her win in the Bahamas and is projected to jump from 40th to 26th in the world ranking.

Paula Creamer, paired with Korda all four days, had a 69 to tie for third with Na Yeon Choi, Lizette Salas and Pornanong Phatlum at 16 under. Phatlum finished with a 67, Salas had a 71, and Choi shot 72.

Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old New Zealander making her first start as an LPGA Tour member, had a 68 to tie for seventh at 15 under. She won the LPGA TOur’s Canadian Women’s Open the last two years as an amateur.

Korda tied Lewis for the lead with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th, then got up and down for birdie on the par-5 18th.

Korda’s 4-iron approach on 18 scampered through the green to the fringe just short of the grandstand. With an official and a TV announcer holding up cords that would have interfered with her stroke, she putted under the wires to set up the winning birdie

“That was different,” Korda said. “It was like jump rope.”

She admitted she was nervous on the winning putt.

“Incredible!” Korda said. “I could barely put the golf ball down and line up.”