Korda wins play-off after late wobble

TAIPEI • Nelly Korda won the LPGA Taiwan Championship in a three-way play-off yesterday, giving her caddie Jason McDede bragging rights over his fiancee Caroline Masson.

In a rare coincidence, Korda beat Masson in a sudden-death shoot-out that also included Australian Minjee Lee. All three had finished on 18-under 270.

McDede and Masson are due to be married next year, and yesterday was the first time they had gone head-to-head vying for an LPGA title. McDede came out on top when his boss Korda birdied the first extra hole, the par-five 18th at Miramar Golf Club in New Taipei City, while Masson and Lee could only manage pars.

Korda, 21, had a three-shot lead over Lee, who was also runner-up to her last year, after the third round but struggled in the final day with five birdies and five bogeys.

She dropped shots on three of her final five holes to fall one stroke back of Masson before a birdie on the 18th gave Korda an even-par 72 and got her into the play-off.

Lee and Mason closed with 69 and 68 respectively.

Korda described the day as "very dramatic, a little bit harder than I wanted it to be, but I am happy I got it done... I was very nervous actually because it was my first play-off."

It was the American's third LPGA victory. She claimed her maiden title at this event last year to join her elder sister Jessica as a winner on the circuit, extending a family sporting resume which also boasts a Grand Slam tennis title via father Petr.

Ranked eighth in the world, Korda also won the LPGA Australian Open in February for her first victory this term.

Masson characterised the experience as "a little funny" but was magnanimous in defeat.

"I'm quite happy to see them win," the 30-year-old German said of the Korda-McDede professional partnership.

"I'm proud of the two of them, the way they work together, and hopefully I get another chance to beat them down the stretch the next few years."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2019, with the headline 'Korda wins play-off after late wobble'. Print Edition | Subscribe