Nelly Korda wins 2024 Ford Championship, third straight win on LPGA

Nelly Korda wins 2024 Ford Championship, third straight win on LPGA


GILBERT, Ariz. — Nelly Korda’s last win was seven days ago. Lexi Thompson’s winless streak spanned 1,696 days.

Korda was looking for a third win in her last three starts. Thompson was seeking to snap a winless streak of 77 tournaments, dating back to June 2019.

That contrast in styles served as the backdrop on the back nine Sunday at Seville Country Club, as the two American stars battled Hyo Joo Kim and Maja Stark as well as the cold and rain during the final round at the inaugural Ford Championship.

The four golfers were tied for the lead at 17 under after they all made the turn until Korda made a second straight birdie on the 13th hole, allowing her to pull ahead by a shot and hold the solo lead for the first time all week.

A few minutes later, Kim dropped out of contention after a costly four-putt on No. 11 that led to a double-bogey 6. Stark could only string together pars before carding a bogey on 16.

It briefly became a two-way battle between Thompson and Korda, with Thompson reclaiming a tie for the lead at 18 under after a birdie on the par-3 14th hole.

On 16, Korda reclaimed the solo lead once again after almost jarring her second shot on the driveable par 4, the ball bouncing three times before rolling just over the edge of the cup. She would make birdie to get to 19 under.

Hira Naveed joined the party late, as she went 4 under over a six-hole stretch from No. 12 through 17. The first LPGA player of Pakistani descent, Naveed was ranked 648th in the world coming in and finished at 18 under. But it wasn’t enough to threaten the lead of Korda.

Thompson’s run came to an end on the short par-4 16th. With driver in hand, she pushed her tee shot right and into a lake. She took a drop in the desert and then hit her third on the green but two putted for bogey. She then missed a short par putt on 17 for another bogey, and she was suddenly three back of Korda with one hole to go.

2024 Ford Championship

Lexi Thompson plays her shot from the fourth tee during the final round of the 2024 Ford Championship at Seville Golf and Country Club in Gilbert, Arizona. (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Korda closed out her day going up-and-down from just off the green on 18 for one final birdie, this one getting her to 20 under and with few pursuers left chasing, safely in the clubhouse.

She later hoisted the trophy to make it official. In the process she becomes the fifth American to win three times before April 1 and the first since 1980.

Since her last win, Thompson has four solo seconds and four ties for second but the winless streak will extend at least another week. With this win, Korda now has 11 victories, tying Thompson. Jane Geddes and Jiyai Shin also have 11 career wins, which is good for 31st all-time.

Lydia Ko came into the week one point away from clinching a spot in the LPGA Hall of Fame. A win at the Ford would have given the 26-year-old the 27th and final point needed for entry. Ko tied for 11th at 15 under and a pair of 70s over the weekend.

Money talk

The total purse was $2.25 million after Ford signed on as the title sponsor and the Thunderbirds, who run the PGA Tour’s WM Phoenix Open, joined as a founding partner.

Korda earned a first-place check worth $337,500, pushing her career total to $9.86 million, good for 26th all-time in 131 starts.

A cold and rainy Sunday

Rain is generally a rare sight in the Valley of the Sun but there was plenty of rain, and cold, on Sunday for the LPGA’s sixth event on its 2024 calendar.

It had been since 1999 that the greater Phoenix area had an Easter Sunday with rain.

Tournament organizers decided to move up the final-round tee times by two hours in anticipation of inclement weather and some of that is peeking ahead on the schedule.

The Ford Championship is the second leg of a three-tournament West Coast swing for the LPGA, which next heads to Shadow Creek in Las Vegas for the T-Mobile Match Play, a five-day event that starts Wednesday.


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