Korda, Ko is part of the LPGA’s four-way street with $1.5 million on the line
Naples, Florida. – Nelly Korda and Jin Young Koo are part of a four-way tie for the lead in the final round of the season, with at least $1.5 million and LPGA Player of the Year on the line.
Coe started pouring in hits from all over and a seven-bird streak in a row helped her make up her own six-shot deficit and carried her to a 6-under 66. Korda followed her by beating the peer-5 on the back of a nine at Tiburon to 67 to get back in the game.
They were tied for the CME Group Tour with Céline Potier of France, who started with a four-shot lead and unhurt by 72, and Japan’s Nasa Hataoka who fought the low-wind round on Saturday at 64.
They were both 14 and under 202, making for one last day full of possibilities.
Mexico’s Gabe Lopez prepared to join the team until approaching Day 18 she found the water down a slope so steep that she could barely find a place to put the ball without it rolling away. She made a good escape with Ghost for 69 and was a one-shot in the back with Mina Harigai (69).
The scores of players were separated by two shots, a group that includes Lexi Thompson, who took a bogey on the last hole for 68 and is still in the mix.
The winner takes home $1.5 million, the biggest prize in women’s golf, and there’s more at stake for the top two players on the LPGA Tour this year.
Both Korda and Ko had four wins—one of which was big for Korda, along with a non-LPGA Olympic gold medal. Korda leads by 10 points in the race for Player of the Year, which means Koe will likely win to overtake her.
None of that seems to bother Korda, a 23-year-old American with a sleek swing and ruthless when it comes to competition.
“It’s for other people,” Korda said of how to set the stage for the end of the LPGA. “I’m just there to do my job, take a shot at a time, and see where that takes me. That’s all you can do.”
Two strokes the trick to Korda. She was losing ground from the bird chances and felt as if she was struggling until she went green at 5 par-5 in the wind.
This was the same hole where on Friday it leaked the pass metal inside the hazard and made it a ghost. The yardage was too good for her to ignore, and I knocked about 3 to 10 feet of wood over the hole with a sharp break from right to left, but it was an easy flyer.
Then at 17 bar 5 with the wind on her back she hit her biggest ride of the day which left her 9 irons bumping her to 4 feet for an eagle.
Ko damage in front, the first of those three birds on tricky holes in 20 mph winds, rolled into a hit from a 20-foot range and made it look easy.
She dug 10 feet for a 5th birdie for her fourth in a row, went up and down a long shot into the dugout at the next hole, stuffed a wedge to 6ft at No. 7 and then crowned her big run with an 18ft birdie at level 3.
Her lead was for a while as Potter settled into a series of jockey. Koo said she made the eighth birds in a row at her home in South Korea and was hoping to top that. But the streak ended with a three-stroke bogey in the ninth, and it finished with nine classes.
Koe missed good chances in both par 5, but she’s right where she hoped she would be. What’s even more impressive about her playing is that the South Korean star has been dealing with a nagging injury to her left wrist on the inside since May. It hurts mostly in full swing with the driver, and I kept it this week because it’s the last event of the year.
“I’m doing really well now and have a lot of birds today – yesterday too,” Coe said. “So I hope there will be more sparrows tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.”
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