Nelly Korda claims third career title with big sister Jessica on hand to celebrate

Joey Yu/EPA-EFE

Nelly Korda claims third career title with big sister Jessica on hand to celebrate

LPGA Tour

Nelly Korda claims third career title with big sister Jessica on hand to celebrate

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Nelly Korda credited a pep talk from her caddy for turning things around at the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA after a string of three-putts.

“He gave me a great pep talk going from 17 to 18,” said Nelly, “and he kind of just told me, you know, to give it all I’ve got and to play from the heart, as well. My sister said that, too. Without them, I wouldn’t be on this stage today because they really made sure I was level-headed.”

The youngest Korda sister birdied the 18th in regulation and again in a three-way playoff to clip Minjee Lee (69) and Caroline Masson (68).

But here’s where it gets even more interesting.

Korda’s caddie, Jason McDede, is actually engaged to Masson.

“Jason is engaged to Caroline, but at the end of the day, he is on my team and I am the one signing his paycheck,” said Korda, laughing.

Masson said before the final round that she planned to embrace the unusual situation.

Leaderboard: Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA
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“Solheim was even worse,” she the German player. “We played against each other, so we’re kind of used to it now.”

Korda, who shot 72 in the final round to finish at 18 under, set up her successful title defense by hitting a beautiful hybrid from 200 yards into the closing par 5. She was the only player to find the fairway in the playoff. A two-putt birdie putt proved enough to secure the 21-year-old her third career victory.

She is the first American with multiple wins in the 2019 season and the third player to successfully defend her title, joining Brooke Henderson at the Lotte Championship and Danielle Kang at the BMW Ladies Championship.

Jessica Korda pours champagne to Nelly Korda after she won the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA Presented By CTBC at Miramar Golf Country Club in New Taipei City, Taiwan. (Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

“I felt bad for her when she made all those mistakes coming in,” said big sister Jessica, “but every time she tried to look at me, I would try to tell her, it’s going to be OK. Seeing her walk off 18 in regulation, I saw she had fire in her eyes – I just felt really good about it and I was just praying that it was going to work out.”

The Korda sisters are one of three sets of sisters to win on the LPGA. Jessica has five wins. Annika Sorenstam (72 wins) and Charlotta Sorenstam (one) win are also joined by Ariya Jutanugarn (10 wins) and Moriya Jutanugarn (one win).

Jessica stayed up through the night to watch her sister win in Taiwan and Australia. This time she saw it all unfold in person.

“She’s 21 years old,” said Jessica. “She’ll be out here for a lot of years hopefully, and we’ve got a lot more of this coming.”

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