Nelly Korda ties LPGA Tour record with 5th straight victory, wins Chevron Championship for 2nd major

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) — Nelly Korda couldn’t have imagined the incredible run she’s put together this season while at home recovering from a blood clot that required surgery in 2022.

“Because obviously then I was just more scared for my health,” she said. “Competing was kind of on the back seat. I was not thinking about competing at all. But I think all of the sad times and the health scares that I have gone through have made me who I am today.”

Fully healthy now, Korda is seemingly unstoppable. The world’s No. 1 player hasn’t lost a tournament since January, and now she’s a two-time major champion.

Korda etched her name in the LPGA Tour record books Sunday, winning her record-tying fifth straight tournament with a two-stroke victory in the Chevron Championship.

Korda joins Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) as the only players to win five consecutive LPGA events. Her previous major victory was in 2021 at the Women’s PGA Championship.

“It’s been an amazing feeling these past couple weeks knowing that I can go on this stretch and that if I stay in my bubble and I keep golf in a sense simple and let it flow, then I can have so, so much fun out here,” she said.

Korda shot a 3-under 69 in the final to outlast Maja Stark of Sweden, who birdied her final two holes to shoot 69 and pull within one. Korda stayed aggressive on the par-5 18th, easily clearing the lake in front of the green and setting up an easy up-and-down birdie for a two-shot victory.

She had a four-day total of 13-under 275 at Carlton Woods.

Korda nearly aced the par-3 17th, with her tee shot hitting the hole and hopping in the air before settling within 10 feet. She settled for par to maintain her two-shot lead.

Korda wowed the large crowd, which followed her throughout the day, by chipping into the wind for birdie on the par-4 10th hole to take a four-stroke lead. The 25-year-old raised her club above her head with one hand and pumped her fist after the ball rolled into the hole.

Her parents — former Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda and Regina Rajchrtova — beamed as she was presented with the trophy.

Nelly Korda smiles after winning the Chevron Championship LPGA golf tournament Sunday, April 21, 2024, at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Nelly Korda smiles after winning the Chevron Championship LPGA golf tournament, April 21, 2024, at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

“She had a difficult ’22 and ’23 in certain ways,” Petr Korda said. “She did not win a tournament in ’23 and some things probably made her humble and (she) put a lot of work into where she is right now. Without the work and commitment, she would not be here. So seeing that, I’m very happy.”

Korda’s older sister, Jessica, is a six-time LPGA winner who’s taking a break from golf after giving birth to her first child.

Korda took home $1.2 million from a purse of $7.9 million, a significant increase from last year’s purse of $5.2 million. That brings her season earnings to $2,424,216 and her career earnings to $11,361,489.

Winners had been jumping into Poppie’s Pond off the 18th green at Mission Hills since 1988, and Korda became the second to do it in Texas by doing a cannonball off a small dock into brown-tinged water. World No. 2 Lilia Vu was first to jump into the pond here after her win last season. Vu withdrew from this year’s tournament before the first round after experiencing “severe discomfort” in her back during warmups.

While still shivering from her post-win plunge Sunday, Korda confirmed she’ll be competing in the JM Eagle LA Championship next week in Los Angeles. She was then asked about the possibility of becoming the first to ever win six straight LPGA tournaments.

“I’m going to enjoy this right now and then I’ll think about that,” she said. “But yeah, it’s been an amazing time. Hopefully keep the streak alive. But I’ve been so grateful to compete week in and week out and get the five in a row, too.”

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler is on a similar tear, on his way to a fourth victory in five starts until rain interrupted the final round of the RBC Heritage. He couldn’t help but check in on Korda.

“I actually was checking the scores this afternoon when we were in the rain delay,” he said. “I’m extremely happy for her and proud of her. That’s some pretty special stuff. It’s been a treat to watch.”

Korda entered the last round one shot off the lead after completing the last seven holes of the weather-delayed third round early Sunday morning on a windy and unseasonably cool day. She was wiped out after her big win because she’d been up since 4 a.m. to prepare for the end of the third round.

She birdied two of her first four holes to take the lead. Lauren Coughlin birdied Nos. 13 and 14 to get within two strokes, but bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes put her four behind. She shot a final-round 68 to finish tied for third with Brooke Henderson.

Coughlin got emotional when discussing her best finish in a major.

“It’s really cool to see all of the work that I’ve put in, especially with my putting and my short game, and putting specifically showed off this week, as well,” she said.

Henderson was tied with Korda for second to start the last round after she shot a 64 in the third round to set a scoring record for the tournament since its move from Mission Hills, California, to Texas last year. But the Canadian, who has 13 LPGA wins with two majors, also faltered early in the final round, with a bogey and a double bogey in the first four holes.

Haeran Ryu of South Korea shot a bogey-free 67 to enter the final round leading Korda by one. But the 2023 Rookie of the Year bogeyed the first two holes of the fourth round. She closed with a 74 and finished fifth.

Eighteen-year-old amateur Jasmine Koo provided an unlikely highlight on the 18th hole. Her second shot bounced off the advertising board in the water and back into play. She ended up with a birdie to shoot 71.


AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, contributed to this report.


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