Nelly Korda wins first Symetra Tour title
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Nelly Korda won the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge on Sunday for her first Symetra Tour title.
The 18-year-old Korda, the sister of LPGA Tour winner Jessica Korda and daughter of former tennis champion Petr Korda, closed with a 5-under 66 for a three-stroke victory at Willow Run.
“I don’t even have words,” Korda said. “Having my first professional win out here is just amazing. The atmosphere today was just amazing. I could not have asked for a better day and a better week.”
She earned $31,500 to jump from 27th to 11th on the money list with $57,316. The top 10 after the final five events will earn LPGA Tour cards, setting up a possible sister act next year.
“I mean it’s been my dream ever since I competed in the U.S. Open at 14,” Korda said. “Just being with her and alongside her has always been a really big dream of mine and hopefully I can fulfill that dream by getting my LPGA Tour card. But I’m just going to take it a step at a time and not really think about that and just enjoy my time out here.”
Third-round leader Wichanee Meechai was second after a 70. She moved from 11th to fourth on the money list.
Money leader Madelene Sagstrom and Ally McDonald, second on the money list, tied for third at 9 under. Sagstrom had a 71, and McDonald shot 64.
Korda finished at 14-under 270. She birdied three of the first five holes to jump into a share of the lead, highlighting the run with a 25-foot chip-in on the par-4 third.
“With the chip-in, it was kind of an awkward stance,” Korda said. “It was downwind and downhill and it was a very delicate shot and I just told myself, ‘You’ve had this putt a couple of times you know how it turns — just execute it. Pick your target, hit it and move on.’ I was just going for a par and then it rolled in. It was definitely a big boost.”
Korda added birdied on the par-5 14th and the par-4 15th.
“I putted really well,” Korda said. “Every aspect of my game was really good. If I hit a couple of loose shots I knew I could get up-and-down. I was really comfortable with my short game and my putting. Everything really clicked this week and I’m really happy about that.”