Lydia Ko reveals how she blew shot at Nelly Korda, LPGA Drive On Championship

Lydia Ko had an excellent shot at starting her 2024 LPGA season with back-to-back wins. However, she came up just short, both figuratively and literally, in a two-hole playoff to Nelly Korda at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Bradenton Country Club in Bradenton, Fla.

Through three holes Sunday, Ko was six shots back of Korda. Yet, she fought back and played incredible golf during her final couple holes. Ko actually took a three shot lead as she entered the clubhouse at 11-under.

Korda had just two holes remaining, but miraculously went eagle-birdie to force the playoff.

On the second playoff hole, Ko had a lengthy birdie putt for the win but left it woefully short. It was so short in fact that she still had the honor.

The New Zealander then lipped out her par putt from about four feet away, which opened the door for Korda to seal the deal.

“I had a few three putts today, and at the end of the day, I think that’s what cost [me] the tournament,” Ko said. “To be able to eagle the 17th and have a chance of winning long when I thought I was a ways behind, it was nice to be in contention again two weeks in a row.”

Her near albatross, tap-in eagle on the par-5 17th made things really interesting.

Ko had a shot to win the tournament on her 72nd hole but couldn’t get her birdie putt to fall. Nonetheless, she put the pressure on, and the younger Korda sister was forced to deliver.

Deliver she did.

The 26-year-old from down under was so clutch on Sunday for the second week in a row, but her putting kept her from going back-to-back and qualifying for a spot in the LPGA Hall of Fame. She is still one point away from earning that distinction.

“Sucks to miss a three-footer on the last and get it out of my hands,” Ko said. “I think that was the whole goal today. Whatever happened, I wanted to finish the job in my control. I missed that putt, but I made a good stroke. I misjudged the speed on the first one. Then, on the second one, I under-read it.”

LPGA Drive On Championship, Lydia Ko, Nelly Korda, LPGA

Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

While she did miss an opportunity to earn another win in Florida, Ko has nothing to hang her head about. She won last week at the Tournament of Champions and is already off to a strong 2024 start.

“I can’t complain when I’ve hit four decent shots. Just wasn’t my time to be, and Nelly made a good up and down on the last,” she said. “Just wasn’t my win.”

The 20-time LPGA winner is nothing short of a good sport, as she gave Korda credit where it was due.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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