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Nelly Korda Triumphs at Mizuho Americas Open
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By Associated Press
Published 3 weeks ago on
May 20, 2024

Nelly Korda wins the Mizuho Americas Open golf tournament, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Jersey City, N.J. (AP/Seth Wenig)

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JERSEY CITY — With her record-tying winning streak over, Nelly Korda got back to doing what she does best — winning.

Korda won a back-nine showdown with Hannah Green of Australia with a par on the 18th hole to capture the Mizuho Americas Open by a stroke Sunday for her sixth win in seven starts on the LPGA Tour this year.

“Oh, my gosh, six,” Korda said. “I can’t even really gather myself right now with that, the head to head that Hannah and I had pretty much all day. Wasn’t my best stuff out there today, but fought really hard on the back nine.”

“It was just amazing to share the stage with Hannah.”

The victory made the 25-year-old American only the fourth player on tour to win six times before June 1, joining LPGA Hall of Famers Babe Zaharias (1951), Louise Suggs (1953) and Lorena Ochoa (2008). She’s also is the first player since Inbee Park (2013) to record six wins in a single season.

The LPGA record for wins in a season is 13 by Mickey Wright in 1963.

Korda’s 14th career victory came a week after her record-tying five-tournament winning streak was snapped by Rose Zhang at the Cognizant Founders Cup. Zhang withdrew Thursday after three holes with an intestinal issue.

After playing the front nine in 2-over and getting a motivational nudge from caddie Jason McDede, Korda matched birdies with Green on the 10th, 13th and 15th holes at scenic Liberty National to stay tied for the lead at 14 under. The pairing involved the tour’s only two multiple winners this year.

Final Round Showdown

Korda, the third-round leader by two shots, had a final-round 71 and finished at 14-under 274. Green, who was looking for her third win of the season, had a 70 and finished at 275.

“I mean, there is something special about the grind of not having your best stuff and then still mentally being able to pull it off,” Korda said.

After Korda put her drive in the fairway on the the par-4 No. 18, Green pulled her drive into the left rough. Her second to the green was short and left and still in the rough. After Korda hit her approach to 15 feet from the hole, Green’s chip over a bunker landed 10 feet in front of the hole and then rolled back a little.

Korda putted to tap-in range and finished out, while Green’s putt to extend the tournament to a playoff never touched the hole.

Korda then raised her hands and accepted the cheers from the crowd in this event held with a view of the New York City skyline and Statue of Liberty in the background.

“I mean, to lose to Nelly kind of like is — it’s sad, but then it’s also Nelly Korda,” Green said. “You know, like she’s obviously so dominant right now. To feel like second behind her is quite nice. Unfortunately, the bogey on the last has a little bit of a sour taste.”

Other Notable Performances

Jennifer Kupcho, who lost this event in a playoff with Zhang last year, finished tied for third with rookie Gabriela Ruffels of Australia and Ariya Jutanugarn and Chanettee Wannasaen, both of Thailand.

Playing hours before the leaders teed off, Wannasaen had the best round of the day with a 7-under 65. Jutanugarn had a 70, Kupcho shot 71 and Ruffels had a 72 in finishing third for the second straight week.

After being tied for the lead by Ayaka Furue of Japan and Kupcho with nine holes to play, Korda and Green turned the tournament into a two-player race with their matching birdies to open a four-shot lead over the rest of the field. When one hit it close, the other followed.

Furue finished in a large group at 9 under.

Korda is the eighth player to win six times in a year since 1980. The others are Betsy King (1989), Annika Sorenstam (1997, 2003), Karrie Webb (1999, 2000), Lorena Ochoa (2006, 2008), Park, Beth Daniel (1990) and Yani Tseng (2011).

Korda earned $450,000, bringing her career earnings to $11,880,981 and her season earnings to $2,943,708.

Looking Ahead

The tour has a week off and then heads to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for the U.S. Women’s Open. Korda has dreamed of winning the title, but has not yet done it.

“Obviously, it’s on the top of my priority list,” she said. “I just know there is never any good when you put more pressure on yourself. Just going to stay in my bubble that week and take it a shot at a time.”

If she does, maybe No. 7 is not too far away.

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