GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Nelly Korda became the first two-time LPGA Tour winner that season, finishing with a 5 under 67 for a two-stroke victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday.
As a Gainbridge LPGA winner in February, Korda finished the tournament record at Blythefield Country Club with 25 under 263. She shot a best 62 of her career on Saturday and went into the final round with three strokes.
“Actually it was really fun today,” said Korda. “To be honest, there were times when I really didn’t enjoy it on Sundays, how the stress kind of eaten me up and I didn’t stay in the moment and enjoy playing golf in a closing group on a Sunday.
“But today I really enjoyed it and it was a really good fight between Leona and me. She definitely kept me busy.”
The 22-year-old American, who was ranked fourth in the world, won her fifth Tour title. She recovered after missing the cut at the US Women’s Open two weeks ago.
“If you’d told me at the US Open that I would do 25 Under, I’d say, ‘Yeah, right,'” said Korda. “But I did a fair amount of work at home. My father went to every training session, a little boot camp with my father.”
She won the Gainbridge LPGA in Florida in the second event of the year after sister Jessica won the season opening tournament. The younger brother Sebastian won the Emilia-Romagna Open in Italy in May for his first ATP Tour victory.
Leona Maguire from Ireland came second after a 66.
“I knew it was going to be a fight,” said Maguire. “I knew I had a lot of golf ahead of me and she was three strokes ahead.”
Korda reached par-5 14th and had six birdies and three bogeys. She pushed her lead with the Eagle to two strokes and increased it to three with a birdie on the 15th par-3. Maguire drew 16 on the par-4 with a birdie by one and Korda had a bogey. Both parried the 17th par-4 and Korda Birdie the 18th par-5.
“I did an eagle and then got a pretty good birdie on this par 3,” said Korda. “Unfortunately I have three putts on the next hole, but that’s golf. You will make mistakes.”
The big KPMG Women’s PGA Championship takes place next week at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
“This week is going to be a big week for a major,” said Maguire. “I knew I was playing great golf. It’s a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season.”
In Gee Chun, a 63 tied third shot with Brittany Altomare (64) at 21 Under. Anna Nordqvist followed at 20 under after 66.