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Nelly Korda wins Pelican Championship to regain No. 1 ranking
MIAMI: Nelly Korda shot seven birdies in a par 64 6-under on Sunday to claim victory in the LPGA Pelican Women’s Championship and return to the top of the world rankings.
The American’s searing final run saw her defend the title she won last year and lift her first trophy in what has been a tough 2022.
Korda missed much of the first half of the season due to a blood clot in her arm that required surgery.
She had taken the past five weeks off after missing back-to-back cuts to the NW Arkansas Championship and the Ascendant LPGA in Texas.
“Honestly, amazing,” said Korda, who will rise from fourth in the world to supplant Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul at the top of the rankings.
“There have been more lows than highs this year, and I think that’s what makes it so much more enjoyable for me.”
This will be Korda’s third stint at the top of the standings, his two previous runs totaling 29 weeks.
Belleair, in his home state of Florida, proved to be the perfect place to turn things around.
“I had great memories at that golf course,” Korda said. “I was at home. I also had my parents’ comfort level in the crowd, which plays a role.
Korda added that she was “just grateful” to be competing after her health issues earlier in the year.
Korda, who started the day two shots off Allizen Corpuz in the shortened 54-hole tournament after a storm prevented play on Thursday, jumped early with three birdies on the front nine in first, seventh and eighth.
His four back-nine birdies included a brace on the 16th and 17th that gave him a two-stroke lead over Lexi Thompson heading into the 72nd hole.
Korda’s only misstep was a bogey at 18. But Thompson missed the green on the last and his throw to force the playoffs didn’t go down.
“Rolled in key putts today,” Korda said. “I birdied 16 and 17, which gave me a two-shot lead going into 18. It’s tough when you have to wait that long.
“You don’t want to win on a bogey, but I played really solid golf all day and took the loss there.”
Korda’s eighth LPGA title was her first coming from behind, and the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist said she plans to take advantage of it before turning her attention to the Tour’s upcoming season finale. Championship.
“I’m just going to soak it all up with my family, and next week is a new week, so I’m going to try and get back into shape and see how it goes,” she said.
Thompson finished the day with six birdies and two bogeys in his 66 for 197.
Corpuz, who was seeking a first LPGA title, went a sub-69 for third-place solo out of 199.