Call it the Korda Slam.
The quirky love of the Korda family at Australian Opens has another chapter, thanks to Nelly Korda's triumphal procession around The Grange today in the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.
The 20-year-old Floridian was a bump in the belly of her mother Regina when her father Petr, a left-handed man who won 10 titles, took the tennis Open in 1998, his only Grand Slam victory. She was a teenager when her sister Jessica won the Open golf at Royal Melbourne in 2012 and only a year ago her brother Sebastian won the junior title at the tennis Open. "There must be something in the air," she said.
It is not just a marketing spiel; it means something for the family. Nelly Korda said at the beginning of this week that she felt "so locked out" when her family told about their Australian Open. Now she can participate in the conversation and on Sunday evening she even mimicked the famous scissor-kick celebration of her father. "That felt very good," she said.
Nelly Korda nails the & # 39; Korda Kick & # 39; after winning the 2019 ISPS Handa Women & # 39; s Australian Open.
She is a thoroughly modern champion. No more than a minute or two after tapping a par-putt into the 18th hole to win a two-shot victory, Korda got a phone and her older sister looked at her and shouted at her via FaceTime. Nelly Korda put it in context: "I am finally part of the club", she told Jessica, watching the Gulf Channel from Florida.
They are the first pair of sisters to win the Women's Australian Open golf title, Jessica won the championship in 2012 in Royal Melbourne as a 17-year old, on the way to becoming one of the best players in the world. Now she has an important competition for the title of best player in her own family.
Korda started with a lead of three shots and was largely without nerves. She lost six shots when she made a series of five birdies in six holes until the 12th and it seemed to be a total dominance. But then she was challenged by defending champion Jin-Young Ko of South Korea, who was on her way to a sensational ending 64.
Ko played impeccably wave and just for a moment, when she had her second shot in the knee at the par-four 18th and made her eighth bird of the day, there was a glimpse that the result was obvious all day long could just change while Korda pulled her second blow on the 15th and made bogey.
The door was bolted to the par-fourth 17th hole, which goes up to the green. Korda rinsed her iron shot over the flag and stopped five meters from the cup. Then she buried the slider from left to right and the steering was two shots when she walked to the 18th tee.
Only a bad tee-shot could have stopped her from that point, and she took three wood for safety and drilled it through the fairway. An iron on the back and two putts later, the title was hers.
The old corridor could not contain her. She shot 17-under over the four days with rounds of 71-66-67-67.
It is her second LPGA Tour victory after her maiden triumph in Taiwan last year, and her world rankings (currently 16th) can jump to the top-10 tomorrow. In some ways she is the future of golf with her length of the T-piece and her ability to press the ball together with her irons, to spin them and to put them on the greens.
Just like the men are now in power, Korda and world champion Ariya Jutanugarn are the standard bearers of the ladies' game. On Saturday, Korda & # 39; s tee-ball drove almost 300 meters on the par-four 18th, albeit slightly downhill and on a fast fairway.
Korda made a laconical walk and she never looked busy on Sunday or bothered on course, hit it right away in third place for a birdie, then made a bomb on the seventh and closed it again for birdie on the eighth. Her first glitch on the ninth, where she hit the lip of the fairway bunker and became bogey, was followed by another three birdies on the 10th, 11th and 12th, at which time – temporarily – she was led by six.
Nothing was too easy. Ko was sensational in her title defense and forced Korda to dig deeper. But a closure of 67 was always difficult to challenge.
Nelly Korda had spent much of her time as a child when she saw how Jessica hit balls on the driving range, the difference in age was five years. Her sister encouraged her to go her own way. "What's really great about Jess is that I was never really in her shadow, I mean, that was me, but she never really made me feel like I was in her shadow."
Ko finished second on 15-under, franking her victory last year and beautiful golfing on the last day. The Taiwanese Wei-Ling Hsu was third on 12-under, for Angel Yin (who had nine birdies in her 66) and Haru Nomura on 11-under.
Sarah Kemp and Hannah Green were the leading Australians at eight-par, bound for the 10th.
Five-time winner Karrie Webb finished with a one-over-73 and finished the 38th. Australia's highest ranked player, Minjee Lee, had a 69 to finish with a shared 16th.
World number 1 Ariya Jutanugarn found her match at the weekend and shot 69 to 41th today.