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Mar 24, 2024 6:54 pm

Nelly Korda beats Ryann O’Toole in Seri Pak Championship playoff

nelly korda

Nelly Korda sank a downhill putt for birdie on the first playoff hole to defeat Ryann O’Toole and win the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship on Sunday in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

Korda, 25, won her second tournament of the season and the 10th of her budding career. She is projected to move to the No. 1 spot in both the world rankings and the Race for the CME Globe.

“Fought really hard the last three days,” Korda said on the Golf Channel broadcast. “The weekend was brutal. (Sunday) was tough. That’s the beauty of the game. It’s fun to play in these conditions and be a little bit more artistic out here.”

Korda began the day two strokes behind the leaders and shot an eventful 2-under 69 at Palos Verdes Golf Club to finish 9-under 275 for the week.

O’Toole fired a 66 to reach 9 under first and likely thought she was done for the day after Korda eagled the par-5 14th hole to jump to 11 under for the tournament.

But Korda’s bogey-birdie-bogey-bogey finish made a playoff necessary.

Korda’s first victory of the year, at the LPGA Drive On Championship, also required a playoff to beat New Zealand’s Lydia Ko.

“I’m aging myself really quickly out here,” Korda said.

The players returned to the par-4 18th hole, and both reached the green in two. O’Toole was slightly farther away and saw her putt kiss the lip of the cup as it rolled by. Korda followed with her winning stroke.

“I can’t be more proud to be in this position,” O’Toole said. “You know, that was actually my first playoff ever, so I really enjoyed it. At least I gave it my best attempt. That putting could have gone either way.”

O’Toole said she didn’t realize a playoff could be in the cards until Korda’s approach at the 18th hole in regulation sailed over the green.

“So I just was like, ‘OK, I think it’s time to go warm up,'” O’Toole said. “We had those putts earlier, like she’s kind of been down here already, so she’s a little familiar with below the hole. But I just stayed patient and hit a solid shot in there, gave it a solid putt, maybe two inches further and it would’ve gone in.”

Alison Lee (72) and Australian Gabriela Ruffels (70) tied for third, one back of the playoff duo at 8 under. South Korea’s Jiyai Shin, who shared the 54-hole lead with Alison Lee, struggled to a final-round 73 and tied for fifth at 7 under with Andrea Lee (68) and Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura (70).

–Field Level Media

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