Korda rewrites record books to win Sally

Winner Jessica Korda hits her opening tee shot at the final round of the Sally.

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Jessica Korda rewrote the record books at the South Atlantic Amateur and held off a strong field of followers, including her friend and defending champion Alexis Thompson, to win the Sally by four shots.

The 16-year-old from Bradenton, Fla., fired the best round of the day Sunday, shooting a 3-under 69. She finished with a tournament-record four-day total of 13-under 275 at Oceanside Country Club.

“I love breaking records,” Korda said. “There’s nothing better than knowing you have broken a record and your name will always be at the top until someone else beats it."

Auburn senior Candace Schepperle, who is ranked No. 3 in the Golfweek/Titleist Women’s Amateur Rankings, finished second after a final-round 70. Thompson, meanwhile, struggled in her round, shooting 75 and failing to defend the title she cruised to last year – winning by a record 13 strokes.

“It was disappointing,” Thompson said. “I just don’t seem to have it right now. I’m not trusting shots, not hitting it where I want, and am not dedicated to the shot.”

The momentum Korda built from a third-round 62 – both a tournament and course record – rolled right into the final round. She birdied the first hole, added four more birdies (offset by four bogeys), and pulled away from the pack with an eagle at the Par-5 12th.

“They [Thompson and Schepperle] are both really steady players,” Korda said. “I knew I had to shoot well under par to win.”

A week after helping the United States win the Copa de las Americas team and women’s titles in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Korda, the No. 10 rated amateur, showed little sign of jet lag. She opened with 75, quickly recovered with a 69, and went on to make 15 birdies and an eagle in her last 36 holes.

With this performance, she also strengthened her position for the Curtis Cup Team.

“I would love to be on the team,” she said. “First of all you represent USA, and two you play against some of the best amateurs in the world.”

And Korda just proved she can beat the best amateurs, too.

– Asher Wildman contributed to this report

Click for scores

Welcome to Golfweek.com's comments section.
Please review the posting guidlines here: Golfweek.com Community Guidelines.
All accounts must be verified using Disqus email verification