Nelly Korda likely experienced every emotion possible Sunday. She entered the final round of the LPGA Drive On Championship with a four shot lead over Megan Khang and Lydia Ko. With a solid round, Korda likely would have cruised to victory.
It was anything but.
The 25-year-old American struggled mightily throughout most of her final round. Korda dropped four shots during a three-hole stretch from 14 to 16. That happened as Ko caught fire, closing with an eagle-birdie finish to enter the clubhouse at 11-under.
All of a sudden, Korda found herself three shots back with two holes to play.
But that is when great players do great things, as exhibited Sunday.
ITS NOT OVER YET FOLKS!!!
Nelly Korda eagles 17 and she is now one back of Lydia Ko on the 72nd hole.
A birdie forced a playoff.
— Playing Through (@_PlayingThrough) January 28, 2024
Korda sank a lengthy, must-make eagle putt of her own on 17. That brought her within one shot. She then picked up the first and only birdie of her round on 18, sending the tournament into a playoff.
The Bradenton, Florida native had a putt to win on the first playoff hole, but was unable to sink it.
The following hole, it was Ko’s turn with a putt to win. She was left with just over 10 feet and inexplicably left it more than four feet short. It was such a poor putt, she actually had the honors and somehow missed the tap-in as well.
That opened the door for Korda to pull off the miraculous win.
Korda didn’t miss this time, sinking the four-footer for par.
“I always seem to make it dramatic and interesting,” Korda immediately after her win.
Ko was looking for back-to-back wins and earning enough points for LPGA Hall of Fame candidacy. Instead, it’s Korda who walks away with the ninth LPGA title of her illustrious career.
Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor of SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social media platforms.