18 June, 2024
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Korda denies Aussie Green at LPGA Tour’s Americas Open

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Australian golf star Hannah Green has fallen agonisingly short in a compelling final-round duel with world No.1 Nelly Korda at the Americas Open in New Jersey.

Green bogeyed the 72nd hole as record-setting Korda notched an incredible sixth LPGA Tour victory from eight starts in 2024.

With a Sunday 71, Korda ended at 14 under, one stroke ahead of Green, who closed with a 70 and twice held the outright lead on the front nine but was unable to add a third LPGA Tour title to her own stellar season.

Korda
 Nelly Korda would not be denied her sixth LPGA Tour victory of the year. Image by AP PHOTO 

Fellow Australian Gabriela Ruffels also continued her hot run with a final-round 72 to share third place at 10 under.

It was rookie Ruffels’ third top-three finish of the season, and second in as many weeks, as the 24-year-old solidified her lead in the LPGA rookie-of-the-year race. 

But the spoils again belonged to Korda, even if Green pushed the American all the way.

Ranked one and two in the season-long LPGA player-of-the-year battle, Korda and Green went blow for blow down the stretch at Liberty National.

The two combatants made the same scores on every hole from the ninth through to 17, including matching birdies on 10, 13 and the treacherous par-4 15th.

But in a shootout between the only two multiple winners on the LPGA Tour in 2024, Green pulled her tee shot on the last, then couldn’t find the green with her approach, or get up-and-down to save par.

“Oh, my gosh – six. I can’t even really gather myself right now with that, the head to head that Hannah and I had pretty much all day,” Korda said.

“It wasn’t my best stuff out there today, but I fought really hard on the back nine and it was just amazing to share the stage with Hannah.

“I would consider her a pretty good friend out here and it was a lot of fun going head to head against her.”

Korda is the first player since South Korea’s Inbee Park in 2013 to record six wins in a single season and the fastest to achieve the feat since great Swede Annika Sorenstam also won six of her first eight starts in 2005.

In collecting a $US450,000 winner’s cheque, the 25-year-old is also the fastest player to reach $US2 million in single-season earnings in LPGA Tour history.

Having already won the Chevron Championship, Korda will head to next week’s US Open in Pennsylvania a hot favourite to capture the second women’s major of the year.

Despite narrowly failing to claim a third victory of the year, having won last month’s LA Championship and the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore in March, Green will also be brimming with belief.

“To lose to Nelly … it’s sad, but then it’s also Nelly Korda,” Green said.

“She’s obviously so dominant right now. To feel like second behind her is quite nice.”

The 27-year-old world No.9 is certain to climb back above fellow West Australian Minjee Lee in the new rankings released this week.

World No.8 Lee tied for 21st at seven under on Sunday.

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