Another week, another win for a Korda on the LPGA Tour.
This time it was Nelly Korda who took home the trophy as she won the Gainbridge LPGA at 16 under, following up older sister Jessica’s win at the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions a few weeks back.
“Honestly that motivated me,” Nelly said of watching her sister’s win in Orlando. “[After] Jess’ win, I was like, ‘Okay, I got to get one now.’ … It’s nice to get back-to-back Korda wins.”
The win marks just the second time in LPGA Tour history that a pair of sisters has won in back-to-back events. Annika Sorenstam and sister Charlotta accomplished the feat in 2000 as Annika won the Welch’s/Circle K Championship and Charlotta took the Standard Register Ping.
“It’s amazing,” Nelly Korda said. “If we can follow in their footsteps, in Annika’s footsteps, that would be absurd.”
Korda began the day with a one-stroke lead over rookie Patty Tavatanakit — who fell off the pace with a final-round 74 — and played a steady front nine that featured three birdies and six pars. The back nine was far less eventful for Korda as she didn’t register a birdie, but nine pars coming home were enough to keep distance between herself and the field as she finished three shots ahead of co-runners up Lexi Thompson and Lydia Ko.
The win is the first for Korda on American soil, and the first for her with her parents in attendance.
“[It] feels so nice,” Korda said. “Honestly, I’ve been trying to get a victory on home soil, or just even in Florida, [so] it’s really nice. To have it in front of my parents, that’s amazing.”
In addition to besting a leaderboard packed with stars at the top, Korda came away with the win in a field featuring Annika Sorenstam as she competed in her first LPGA event since 2008.
Sorenstam was never much of a factor in the tournament (she finished 74th at 13-over) as she kicked off the rust of a nearly 13-year layoff. And even though she never threatened contention, the week was a successful one for the 10-time major champion.
“I’m just thankful for being here, playing here and be able to make the cut,” Sorenstam said. “I think overall it’s been quite successful in the sense that I accomplished what I wanted, which was to go out here and just play and play and play. I hit a lot of shots, but I really focused on every shot.”
Despite the relative success in her return to the LPGA circuit, don’t expect to see 50-year-old teeing it up alongside the cadre of young stars again anytime soon.
“I don’t have the motivation to get there, [and] I don’t even know physically if it’s possible,” Sorenstam said. “And that’s okay. I’m pleased with that. I’m happy where I am. It’s taken a lot of courage to come out here and I applaud myself for that.”