Korda in a class of her own as she captures major number two and five-in-a-row

Mark McGowan

Nelly Korda wins her fifth consecutive LPGA Tour event (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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World number one Nelly Korda carved out her own slice of history by becoming just the fifth woman to win five consecutive LPGA events and with it, her second major championship, rubberstamping her status as the dominant force in the women’s game.

Californian Nancy Lopez was the first to achieve the feat back in 1978, her first full season on the LPGA Tour, and went on to be a three-time major champion, and her streak was equalled by legendary Swede Annika Sørenstam in 2005, the final leg of which was the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills which was the first women’s major of the year at the time.

Korda’s record tying performance had a certain symmetry to Sørenstam’s as her fifth consecutive win came at the season’s first major, and the only question remaining is whether she can go one better and take sole possession of the record when she tees it up at next week’s JM Eagle Championship in Los Angeles.

After electrical storms swept through Houston on Saturday evening, the third round was completed on Sunday morning and Korda entered the final round one shot shy of Korean Hae Ran Ryu and tied with Canada’s Brooke Henderson, but three birdies on her opening nine holes in round four saw her swiftly take control as Ryu bogeyed three of her opening five and Henderson carded a double-bogey-seven on the fourth.

When Korda holed a birdie chip from just over the back of the 10th green, she had more than one hand on the trophy and though she’d drop shots at the 11th and 15th holes, she’d almost seal the deal grandstand fashion as her tee shot on the par-3 17th never left the flag, hitting the pin and almost dropping for an incredible hole-in-one, but eventually settling six feet past. She’d miss the putt, but still took a two-stroke lead to the 18th tee.

Swede Maja Stark, playing in the group ahead, was two back and needed to hole a downhill eagle chip to put the squeeze on Korda but her touch was a tad too delicate and she watched it come up agonisingly a couple of rolls shy. Lauren Coughlin was already in the house at -10 and Stark’s closing birdie saw her post -11, leaving Korda just needing a par.

But she wasn’t going to abandon her aggressive playing style, and took on the carry over the water to the green with her second shot, pitching on the front of the green and rolling through to the back edge. With three putts for victory, she’d only need two, securing a two-shot win and writing her name in the record books.

Earlier in the day, Stephanie Meadow made two birdies, a double bogey and 15 pars as she signed off with a level-par 72 to finish on even for the week, climbing 13 places on the final day for a very respectable T30 finish.


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