Family dinners in the Korda household will never be the same again after American wunderkind Nelly Korda lifted the Patricia Bridges Bowl at The Grange Golf Club on Sunday evening.
The 20-year-old Floridian, who began the final round with a three-shot buffer over Haru Nomura, was regularly reminded she was one of the only Kordas without an Australian Open title …
Her older sister, Jessica, won the 2012 championship at Royal Melbourne; her father, Petr, won the 1998 tennis Australian Open and her younger brother, Sebastian, is the reigning boys’ tennis Australian Open champion.
But Nelly continued her family’s love affair with Australia, defeating her nearest pursuer – defending champion Jin Young Ko – by two shots in Adelaide at the weekend.
“I just got off the phone with my dad and he’s like, ‘Well, congratulations, you’re part of the Korda Slam now,’” said Korda, who shot five-under 67 today and reached 17-under 271 for the week.
“Now that we all have a win down here, it’s going to be really special."
South Korean Ko shot the round of the tournament – an eight-under 64 – to move within two shots of the lead with three holes to play.
But Korda, who mixed seven birdies with two bogies, remained levelheaded to hold on and win the second title of her LPGA Tour career.
RIGHT: Korda emulates Petr Korda’s celebratory jump after winning the 2019 Women’s Australian Open at The Grange Golf Club. PHOTO: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images.
“I think last year when I won in Taiwan (Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan) it kind of opened up my eyes to the point where I was like, ‘Oh, I can win out here, I can be in contention,'" said Korda, who began the event ranked 16th in the Rolex World Rankings.
Taiwanese World No.69, Wei-Ling Hsu, entered the weekend sharing the lead with Swede Madelene Sagstrom and eventually claimed outright third, having signed four-under 68.
Meanwhile, former champion Nomura played an up-and-down round alongside Korda, ultimately finishing T4 with American Angel Yin (66) and Spaniard Azahara Munoz (65).
“I started the first with bogey … After that I think it’s very difficult to win,” said Japanese Nomura, who captured the title on the West Course at The Grange in 2016.
Perth product Hannah Green (70) and New South Welshwoman Sarah Kemp (69) shared 10th place to be the highest-placed Australians at eight-under, 280.
“Playing at home, it’s a bit of extra pressure, more than playing somewhere in the States, so it’s been nice to be able to play well,” Kemp said.
Elsewhere, Greg Norman Medallist Minjee Lee and five-time champion Karrie Webb shot rounds of 69 and 73 to finish T15 and T38 respectively.