Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Korda makes it six wins in seven at Mizuho Americas Open – Irish Golfer Magazine

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After a 2-over opening nine at Liberty National Golf Club, it looked like a sixth 2024 victory might be out of reach for Nelly Korda. But as she’s done so many other times this season, the now 14-time LPGA Tour winner dug deep and battled forward, outlasting Hannah Green by one shot to win her sixth title in her last seven starts at the Mizuho Americas Open.

Korda began the round with a two-shot lead over Green, but the Australian immediately picked up a shot on Korda, making a birdie on the par-4 1st hole to move to 12-under total, now one stroke back of the two-time major champion.

Korda then stumbled, bogeying the par-3 2nd hole to drop from 13-under to 12-under and sit in a tie with Green. Korda regained a one-shot advantage over Green with a birdie on the par-3 4th hole, tripping up with a bogey on the fifth hole to slip back to 12-under and to again be tied with Green.

While Green stayed steady, Korda made another mistake on the 7th hole, bogeying the par 4 to completely erase the two-shot lead she began the day with and dropping to 11-under, now one shot back of Green. But Green only held the solo lead for a short while, as the five-time LPGA Tour winner made bogey on the par-5 8th hole to open up a three-way tie for first at 11-under alongside Korda and Ayaka Furue, who shot 1-under on her front nine at Liberty National but ultimately faded after making three bogeys and a double bogey in her final seven holes.

The race to the finish remained in a deadlock, as Korda and Green matched pars on the ninth hole and birdies on the par-5 10th hole to share the lead at 12-under with eight holes to play and the rest of the field struggling to match their pace. Korda and Green then parred 11 and 12 before each grabbed another birdie on the par-5 13th hole to move to 13-under.

Both players parred the tricky par-3 14th hole and then birdied the par-4 15th hole to get to 14-under total with three holes to play. Korda and Green again matched pars on 16 and 17, and each came to the last needing a birdie to capture another 2024 victory.

On the 18th tee, Green had the honor, pulling her tee shot into the left rough, while Korda easily found the fairway. Playing her approach shot first, Green’s second landed in the rough just short of the left greenside bunker, leaving the Aussie a tricky pitch shot, one that she hit to roughly 15 feet, handing the advantage to Korda.

Korda’s birdie try nearly dropped, and she ultimately tapped in for par, putting the pressure on Green to make her putt to force a playoff. And when Green failed to convert, two-putting for a closing bogey, it was Korda for whom the crowds once again roared on the final green of an LPGA Tour tournament, as the 25-year-old emerged victoriously for the sixth time this season at the Mizuho Americas Open.

“Oh, my gosh, six, I can’t even really gather myself right now with that, the head-to-head that Hannah (Green) and I had pretty much all day,” said Korda. “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. I consider her a pretty good friend out her, and it was a lot of fun going head-to-head against her.”

With the victory, Korda becomes the first player since Inbee Park in 2013 to win six times in a single season and is the first American to do so since Beth Daniel won seven titles in 1990. She becomes just the eighth player since 1980 to win six or more times in a year, joining Betsy King, Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb, Lorena Ochoa, Yani Tseng, Daniel and Park. Korda has also tied Sorenstam as the fastest player to win six times in an LPGA Tour season since 1980, doing so in her eighth 2024 start.

Korda earned five consecutive victories earlier this season at the LPGA Drive On Championship, the FIR HILLS SERI PAK Championship, the Ford Championship presented by KCC, the T-Mobile Match Play presented by MGM Rewards and The Chevron Championship. Her winning streak was broken at last week’s Cognizant Founders Cup by Rose Zhang, who won the Mizuho Americas Open in 2023.

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