Korda wins Australian Open in six-way play-off
American teenager Jessica Korda sunk a 25-foot birdie putt on the second play-off hole to win the Women's Australian Open in a six-way play-off at Royal Melbourne on Sunday.
Korda, 18, prevailed against Koreans Ryu So-Yeon and Seo Hee-Kyung, Americans Brittany Lincicome and Stacy Lewis, and Paraguay's Julieta Granada for her first win as a professional and on the LPGA Tour.
"I'm overwhelmed," said Florida-based Korda, whose Czech father Petr won the Australian Open men's tennis title in 1998.
"I was really calm. I knew what the putt did because I'd had it before and it did not move," she said.
All six players made par on the first extra hole. On the second, Lincicome, Lewis, Granada and Seo made par while Ryu had a bogey.
The last US Tour event with six players in a shoot-out was the 1999 Jamie Farr Classic, won by Korean star Se Ri Pak.
"When we spoke on Monday Dad said Melbourne had been good to him," she said.
"As I was walking around here, there was a Melbourne sign on every green. It made me smile because it reminds me of the good times.
"It is a really special place for my family. For my first win, I honestly could not have thought of a better place," said Korda, who banks ê165,000 for her victory.
Korda finished the championship with a final round one-over par 74 to be at three-under.
Korda began the day with a one shot lead and increased it to two with three early birdies.
But a double-bogey six at the ninth and four more dropped shots after the turn halted her run until a birdie at the 17th brought her back into contention at three under.
Korda is projected to jump from 285th to 30th in the world rankings and becomes the sixth-youngest winner in LPGA Tour history and the fourth youngest to win a 72-hole event.
World number one and defending champion Yani Tseng produced a brave fightback after being treated by a doctor for abdominal pain before teeing off.
The Taiwanese had dropped four shots by the seventh but regained them with birdies, including four in six holes on the back nine, ending her tournament defence with a 74 to be one under par for the event and joint eighth.
Australia's four-time champion Karrie Webb battled through another disastrous day as she tried to fine-tune swing changes.
Webb was six-over par at the start and dropped seven shots as she closed out an ugly final round 80 to finish 13-over and in joint 56th place.
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