Jessica Korda wins playoff, takes Tournament of Champions title

1/24/2021 7:20:28 PM EST

Jessica Korda followed up a sizzling 60 on Saturday with a playoff win over Danielle Kang on Sunday to capture her sixth career LPGA Tour victory at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Korda carded a final-round 66 to go 5-under par on the day and tie Kang at 24-under 260 for the tournament, then drained a long birdie putt on the par-3 18th in the first hole of the playoff to seal the victory.

"Amazing. It was obviously a huge grind," said Korda, who was also playing with younger sister Nelly on Sunday. "Danielle was playing so solid, and then Nelly started to make a bunch of birdies. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. What's happening?'

"I knew that I was going to have to go low today, and then Nelly started to go low and I was like, ‘I need to start to go low.' It was just a crazy, crazy day. Crazy two days. Shooting 60 yesterday, getting myself back into contention after bogeying three holes in a row to finish my second round. Crazy week."

For the 27-year-old Korda, who became the sixth LPGA golfer to record a 60 or lower on Saturday, the win marked her first since the 2018 Honda LPGA Thailand and the fourth time she's won in her season debut.

After a slight bobble with a bogey at No. 3, Korda was able to gain some ground with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 6 and 7. She found her groove on the back with four birdies over five holes on Nos. 13-17, then waited for Kang to finish to see if extra holes were necessary.

It was undoubtedly a disappointing finish for Kang, who started the day with a two-shot lead and seemed primed for a low score when she carded a birdie at the first. She racked up two more birdies at Nos. 7 and 14 but then made her first bogey of the week -- as well as her first three putt -- at 15. She rebounded with a birdie at 17 and made a testy 4-footer for par at 18 to force the playoff.

"I really didn't have a high today," said Kang, who lamented the little prep time she had prior to the tournament. "I hit one good shot that I really liked was on 12. I mean, that was my first solid shot.

"That last actually playoff hole shot was awesome. ... (The) last three days were, you know, more comfortable and it was easier, but today when it comes down to it, when I had to execute, I just didn't have the time behind me in it."

Nelly Korda fired a bogey-free 64 to finish alone in third at 22 under. Rounding out the top five were South Korea's In Gee Chun, who shot 67 and finished at 17 under, while Angela Stanford (65) and Cheyenne Knight (66) finished tied for fifth at 16 under.

Defending champion Gaby Lopez (71) of Mexico finished with a 69 to tie for 11th place at 11 under.

Former professional tennis player Mardy Fish won the celebrity competition, which uses the Modified Stableford scoring system. He finished at +158 to beat U.S. military wounded veteran golfer Chad Pfeifer (+147).

"Sometimes I feel like maybe I play better when I don't play as much," said Fish, who has won twice previously. "I don't have as much in my head to think about and, yeah, I hit the ball great all week. Made some good putts and shot some pretty low rounds for the most part."

Former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder finished third (+145) and former NFL kicker Josh Scobee finished fourth (+144).

Hall of Fame baseball pitcher John Smoltz, the two-time defending champion, finished seventh at +138.

--Field Level Media


Tue, 02 Mar 2021 16:11:41 EST Reports: Texans keep RB David Johnson on restructured deal
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:18:15 EST Report: Jadeveon Clowney free agency delayed by knee surgery
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 16:26:06 EST Dolphins to release LB Kyle Van Noy in cap move
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 12:15:57 EST Attorney: Girl injured in Britt Reid crash awake, not talking
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 11:18:56 EST Lions GM intrigued by QB draft class
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 11:12:43 EST 49ers shop, but QB Jimmy Garoppolo not concerned
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 18:49:03 EST Report: Bears release veteran CB Buster Skrine
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 15:16:43 EST Bears add ex-Texas coach Tom Herman to staff
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 13:31:07 EST J.J. Watt, Cardinals agree to two-year deal
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 12:07:37 EST J.J. Watt taps brakes on destination speculation


Tue, 02 Mar 2021 17:29:58 EST Spring training roundup: Red Sox power way past Rays
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 17:59:00 EST Terry Francona's son: Indians knew of Mickey Callaway's behavior
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 15:06:42 EST Cubs bring back RHP Ryan Tepera on 1-year deal
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 19:56:44 EST Spring training roundup: Astros overcome Nationals' power
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 15:49:07 EST Mets to honor Tom Seaver this season with '41' patch
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 13:33:57 EST Hunter Dozier reaches four-year extension with Royals
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 00:31:04 EST Spring training roundup: Dodgers top A's in opener
Sun, 28 Feb 2021 21:28:55 EST Padres' Tommy Pham 'lucky' to take field again
Sun, 28 Feb 2021 21:15:38 EST Cubs activate LHP Kyle Ryan from COVID-19 list
Sun, 28 Feb 2021 15:25:11 EST Orioles' Trey Mancini singles in first at-bat since cancer treatment


Tue, 02 Mar 2021 16:28:39 EST Luka Doncic, Mavericks set to welcome rested Thunder
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 16:14:28 EST James Harden talks return to Houston: 'I'm excited to go back'
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 17:06:34 EST Bulls aiming to rebound in rematch vs. Pelicans
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 15:56:55 EST Hornets bid to get back on track vs. tumbling Timberwolves
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:26:18 EST 76ers host Jazz in clash of conference heavyweights
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:27:08 EST Pacers look to snap skid vs. surging Cavaliers
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 04:19:53 EST Nuggets aim to snap Bucks' 5-game win streak
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 03:33:14 EST Surprising Knicks bring 3-game win streak to San Antonio
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 01:56:59 EST NBA roundup: James Harden lifts Nets to OT win over Spurs
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 01:04:24 EST Blazers' record 24 3-pointers sink Hornets


Tue, 02 Mar 2021 17:21:41 EST Oilers searching for offense in rematch with Maple Leafs
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:45:34 EST Ottawa’s Derek Stepan (shoulder) needs surgery, out for season
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:39:27 EST Zdeno Chara set for return to Boston as Caps face Bruins
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 13:07:52 EST Columbus GM gives vote of confidence to coach John Tortorella
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 12:51:36 EST Penguins’ Sidney Crosby placed on COVID-19 list
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 12:18:17 EST Oilers Alex Chiasson, NHL hold hearing Tuesday
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 03:28:13 EST Canucks look to build on shutout of Jets
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 03:41:50 EST Hurricanes, Predators on rise ahead of matchup
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 03:18:30 EST Skidding Canadiens hope to bounce back vs. Senators
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 02:23:20 EST NHL roundup: Leafs blank Oilers again